1. What is solar electricity?
Photovoltaic (PV) systems convert sunlight into electricity that can be used to power your home, office or industrial facility. Today’s solar electric technology can be harnessed to either supplement power supplied by your utility company or to take you completely off-grid from the utility company. Off-grid systems use battery back-up systems to store power. Newnergy designs the best systems to fit our customer’s needs.
2. What is a on-grid solar system?
On-grid solar systems are wired to the electricity grid. First solar panels are wired to an inverter that translates the DC low-voltage power generated by the panels to 240V AC household current, where it is then used to power any electrical appliance. Then the inverter is wired to the grid. Any power that the solar system generates that you don’t need is sent back to the grid. A smart meter measures how much electricity is drawn from or fed back to the grid, to assure that each household only pays the difference between the two.
3. How effective is a solar system in terms of value for money?
Sunlight is a natural, clean energy resource. In New Zealand, the majority of cities receive average over 2,000 hours of sunlight each year. There’s a lot of free, sustainable energy to capitalise on. Once you install the solar system, the energy that is generated is absolutely free.
4. Can solar energy lower my electric bill?
Yes, Solar panels are used to convert the suns energy into electricity that can be used by your home or business. The panels are connected to the electrical system generally using a bi-directional metering system. This allows your facility to utilize the electricity when it’s being produced by the sun to off set your usage from the power company. When the sun isn’t producing electricity in the evening, you use the power from the electric company.
5. How much does a solar system cost?
The cost of a solar system depends on the size of the system that is built. Systems can be built so they are scalable. It is important to know what size the solar panel system is, how much electricity will be produced, and the price per watt. Each solar system will produce different amounts depending on how good the design is, what shading could reduce the systems daily production, and where the solar panels are on the earth. Each geographical region and even location is going to receive different amounts of sun. After all of this is calculated, then you can make an educated decision on what size of solar panel system you need and want based on your energy demands and budget. Also, renewable incentives help offset the end and overall cost of a PV system.
We have installed systems for as little as $7000 + GST and greater than $15,000 +GST. To quickly get a more accurate estimate of what it will cost for your home use our free quote service.
6. What happens if electricity prices go down?
Electricity prices vary from year to year and provider to provider. One thing that remains constant is electricity prices rise. In 1974, the price of electricity according to MBIE was $0.01 NZD or 1 cent per each unit of electricity. Today the average price of power in Auckland is over $0.27 cents.
Since the electricity industry was deregulated in 1996, the average price per kWh has risen 5.8% annually. Only one time in the past 35 years has electricity pricing not increased annually.
If power only increases by the rate of inflation, you are winning. Even if power prices never rise again for the next 20 years, you're still saving money on your power and generating form your own roof.
7. We are never home during the day, will that impact savings?
Not if you have energy consuming devices like pools, hot water, or teenagers.
You would be surprised by how much energy your home uses while you are not at home, for example fridges, freezers, TV's, audio equipment and security alarms. Believe it or not, even your toaster. In many cases, you can pre-programme electrical devices to be operating while you are at work, such as washing machines, slow cookers, my sky.
Typically, solar produces the most energy between 10-3pm, with summer being more productive than winter. The more that you can align your electricity consumption to your solar generation, the more you'll use your own power rather than exporting surplus back to the national electricity grid. Our specialists will work with you to align your solar system with your energy consumption.
Purchasing a system that is appropriately sized to meet your home's daytime requirements is an important step in the solar evaluation
8. Solar panels are an eco product, but what about the energy used to manufacture/transport to New Zealand?
Solar panels have a 1-2 year energy payback before they will have produced the same amount of energy that went into producing them. Over the 20-year lifetime of the product they will pay back their energy debt over 10 times
9. Are the components of solar panels environmentally friendly?
Solar panels installed by Newnergy are made predominantly from silicon dioxide (sand). This means that they contain no toxic materials such as mercury, lead or cadmium.
10. How long do solar panels last?
Solar panels life expectancy is more than 40 years.
11. How long does it take to install a solar system?
Most home systems can be installed by Newnergy crews in 1 or 2 days. Larger commercial or business installations can take longer depending on size, complexity and special mounting.
12. Is there any warranty provided with a Newnergy solar system?
Newnergy provides two warranties on the solar system. 1) 5-year warranty on the inverter. 2) 10-year limited product warranty for solar panels, and 25-year perfromance warranty on the solar panels which guarantees solar panels to produce 75% output at 25 years.
13. Do solar power systems in NZ need council consent?
Most of councils in New Zealand do not require any consent for installing solar systems. But some councils do require building or resource consent applications for solar systems installation. You may wish to call your local council or ask your installer to find out the councils exact requirements. Some councils do not differentiate between solar power and solar hot water systems. Heritage-listed buildings may require resource consent and strict zones may also require consent.
Council consent requirements and fees around New Zealand:
Auckland Council – No consent required.
Hamilton City Council – Building consent is required – No fees
Nelson City Council – Building consent is required – No fees
Wellington City Council – Resource consent is no longer required for most solar panel installations.
Christchurch City Council – No consent required.
Tauranga City Council - No consent required.
Waikato District Council – Yes, (the fee is to be confirmed)
Western Bay of Plenty - No consent required.
Porirua City Council - No consent required.