How Much Do Solar Panels Cost In NZ?

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How Much Do Solar Panels Cost In NZ?

08 November, 2018

According to Energywise, the price of solar panels in New Zealand is continuing to drop. Installation remains the primary financial outlay for Kiwis who want to tap into sun-sourced power. That’s why at HRV Solar we want to show you what goes into an installation bill, and what solar panel costs you need to consider upfront.

When you use the sun’s energy to help power your home you’re tapping into one of nature’s best energy generators.

We’re not exaggerating: The amount of energy the sun produces is so great, it makes life on earth possible. Albert Einstein actually won a Nobel Prize for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect - a major contribution to the development of solar technology.

But, you probably already know how great solar power is, which is why you’re digging deeper and asking important questions like, “How much does solar panel installation cost?”

We imagine you’re asking this question because you may have heard that the sun’s energy is free; but in reality you’re going to need to invest in the right solar energy system to harness this power.

Well, you’ve come to the right place with these questions - because we have put together this article to run you through the costs of installing solar power in New Zealand.

 

What you need to purchase

Solar panels

These are the panels that you usually see on roofs and are made up of photovoltaic cells (the clever little cells which have the ability to convert sunlight into energy). Each solar panel sitting on  your roof is actually just a whole lot of these cells joined together, ready to suck up that sunshine and make you some sweet, sweet energy.

Solar Inverters

This is the crucial device which converts the energy produced by your solar panel to energy which can power your home. It’s therefore very important to choose a quality inverter - because if these guys fail, you won’t be able to use your whole system. There are a number of inverter options you can choose from to suit your needs, we at HRV use the Fronius photovoltaic inverters.

Fronius have over 70 years’ experience in the power conversion space with divisions in automotive welding and battery charging, and over 25 years’ experience specifically in solar energy. They’re European Made (in Austria) and come with a 10 Year Warranty.

Tesla Powerwall Batteries

If you’re going solar, you may want to also invest in a Tesla Powerwall Battery pack. This is because solar panels themselves cannot save the energy they collect from the sun. Tesla Powerwall Battery storage packs allow you to store power you are unable to use during the day, and when it’s fully charged you may be able to sell any unused power back to the grid. Although, selling power back to the grid is still an option without a battery. A fully charged Tesla battery can even provide power for seven continuous days during an outage, depending on your power usage.

HRV Solar Price Range

HRV’s solar energy systems range in size and capacity. To learn more, here’s a quick guide on our solar panel pricing.

Solar Package

System Size

No. Of Solar Panels

Inverter Size

Generation Capacity

HRV Solar Solution Cost
*Starting from

Solar Starter

2.3 kW

8

3kW

3,190 kWh per year

$7,995

Solar Standard

3.48 kW

12

3kW

4,785 kWh per year

$10,495

Solar Supreme

4.6kW

16

4kW

6,380 kWh per year

$13,495

*Prices in the above table include GST and installation, and are accurate as of November 2018.

In order to find the right Solar Solution for your property, you can run your details through our Solar Evaluator tool, or simply book in an appointment for a Free Home Assessment for one of our experts to come out and evaluate your property.  

Understanding the costs of solar energy at home

You don’t need us to tell you your house is unlike your neighbour’s. Maybe it’s a different architectural style, maybe it was built in a completely different decade out of completely different materials, or maybe you’ve done some alterations to really make your house into your home.

When it comes to installing solar panels, it is these differences which matter. Why? Because different houses have different needs, and different needs require different solar panel setups.

Some of the factors which can have an impact on the cost of solar panel setup in New Zealand include:

The size of your home (and the people who live there)

The physical size of your home - and its number of occupants - has an impact on your solar power and energy needs. The more people living in a home, the more power is likely to be used, and therefore, more solar panels may be required to meet your needs.

The amount of power you wish to generate

Similar to above, the amount of power you’d like to generate may affect the cost of getting solar panels. Your solar power needs can also be impacted by the time of day you use your most power, as grid power tends to cost more during peak times for consumers not on fixed contracts - which is typically in the evening when the majority of people are at home using their appliances.

How you wish to use your solar power

You guessed it, the way you intend to use your solar panels can also impact your solar costs. For example, if you want to use solar power outside of sunlight hours, you will likely need at least one storage battery - a game-changer for solar powered homes. Tesla Powerwall Batteries available in New Zealand are more affordable and efficient than previous models, storing daytime solar-generated energy for use in the evening when grid-power prices are at their most expensive. These time of day savings are available where a customer’s retailer offers “time of use” pricing.

 

The location of your home

Even the way your home is positioned on your property can influence your solar panel requirements. This is because some homes receive more direct sunlight than others, a factor which can determine the amount of solar power generated. Trees surrounding your property can also impact where the panels are situated on your roof. Shading can hinder solar, so it’s important we take this into consideration.

In the southern hemisphere, according to Consumer NZ, your panels often need to face north to get the best power production.

Or, if you wish to connect a dwelling nestled in a remote location - installing solar power may, in some cases, be a cheaper option than connecting to the grid, according to Level New Zealand.  

Angle of your roof

The angle and design of your roof could impact the cost of installing solar: Your roof will ideally be north-east- to north-west-facing, with a 15 to 45° pitch as this is the optimal angle for attracting the sun’s rays. Falling outside this range cuts down how much power panels can generate. Although technicians are able to come up with novel ways to secure mounts which optimise panels, these innovations could impact your full installation cost.

Line costs

Some power companies charge a fee for connecting your solar panel system to their power grid, so you may want to check with your provider and ask to see their solar connection policy.

Maintenance

As you’ve probably guessed, solar panels require ongoing maintenance to ensure they are working to their full potential. Depending on where you are in the country and the orientation of your solar panels, they may require regular cleaning. For example, if you live near the coast or beach and your home is subject to a lot of salt spray. Our HRV Solar Systems come with warranties/guarantees, as well as natural protection under New Zealand’s consumer laws. Panels should be cleaned in the early morning or late evening when they are not hot. Use a normal garden hose to simulate rain, do not use pressurised water blasters. Because there are no moving parts, your HRV Solar Solution requires very little in the way of replacement parts. Note that it is recommended under the New Zealand electrical standards that your system receive a review once a year.

 

Solar savings

 

Selling your solar-generated power back to the grid

Once your new solar panels are installed, your power bill may thank you - but you may also be able to generate some savings from your panels by selling any excess power back to the grid. Each power company in each region is different, so you will need to check with your retailer for which buy-back arrangement is best for you.

Saving with solar batteries

Tesla Powerwall Batteries not only allow customers to store daytime solar generated power, but can also be a backup power supply for non-solar powered homes. For households using a time-of-use rate plan for their power, “Powerwall can charge when rates are low and use that energy during expensive times to reduce your electricity bill.” This feature may not be available yet in your area, but will be available via an over-the-air update in the future.

Check out our guide to solar battery options here.

Modern solar panels are more efficient than previous versions

Not only do solar panels mean you may cut down on your power bill and maybe even earn some money from selling excess power back to the grid - but as technology advances, the efficiency of each panel tends to do so, too. That means, you’re likely to get more value from panels installed now, than panels installed some years ago.

Be energy efficient

Don’t forget, making your home more energy efficient overall may also help you reduce your power bill. Consider switching to energy efficient light bulbs, investing in the most power efficient appliances, buying timers and setting the likes of your dryer, washing machine or dishwasher on during the hours in which your home is using Solar power. Ensure your home is properly insulated to maximise any power-generated heat – these are just a few things you can do to help.

This is a great tool by Energywise to compare the energy use of different appliances

 

Ask an expert’s opinion on your home’s installation costs

 

So, as you can see - there is no short answer when it comes to the cost of installing solar panels in New Zealand. Due to changing technology, the many variables of individual homes, and restraints of New Zealand’s grid system - each installation cost will be different. Which is why at HRV Solar we offer a full assessment for your home and energy usage and design the right system for your needs. An HRV expert will visit your home and talk you through your options, so you can be fully informed before you make any commitments.

Book a Free Home Assessment here





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