5 things to consider when planning your home solar panel installation

Thinking about making the switch to solar energy? As the cost of solar technology continues to drop, photovoltaic (PV) solar panels are becoming an increasingly attractive option for homeowners who want clean energy and lower power bills.

While there are many benefits to investing in a PV system, it’s important to remember that some properties are better suited to solar than others. To help you make a more informed decision, we’ve rounded up five things to consider before committing to your solar panel installation.

1. Does it make financial sense?

The price of solar has dropped dramatically in recent years. For example, a standard 3kW system that might have cost more than $40,000 in 2008 now costs less than $10,000, which has made solar a much more financially viable option for many homeowners. 

Many people find that their solar installation pays for itself over its lifetime. Exactly how long this takes depends on how much electricity the panels generate, how much energy your household uses and how much you sell back to a retailer. You’ll also need to factor in maintenance costs and the potential returns you miss out on by not investing the money elsewhere. 

For more specific information on prices, give us a call today on 09 274 8082.

2. What condition is your roof in?

Most parts of New Zealand receive between 1,672 and 2,098 hours of sunshine each year, according to figures from Statistics NZ. The orientation of your roof plays a major role in how effectively your solar panel installation can capture this sunlight.

Ideally, your roof should face northward (or have an east/west split) in order to maximise the amount of direct sunlight your solar panels receive. You’ll also need to think about obstructions that could affect sunlight exposure. For example, shadows cast by nearby trees, hills, chimneys and buildings may impact the effectiveness of your array. 

Remember that solar is a long term investment, so it’s important to consider how future developments (e.g. your neighbours’ trees growing larger or the construction of new buildings) might affect your solar installation.

3. You’ll probably still need to buy electricity

You might be surprised to learn that most households with solar panel installations are still connected to the grid. Conditions aren’t always perfect for solar, which means your setup may not always be able to generate enough electricity when you require it. As a result, most solar-connected houses are still tied to the grid and purchase power from a retailer when their solar setup does not produce enough electricity.

Some homeowners prefer to go completely off-grid by using battery systems to store electricity, which can then be used when demand is high. This tends to be more expensive than a conventional PV setup, but it can be a cost-effective option for certain properties (e.g. new houses and lifestyle blocks that would otherwise have to pay a lot to connect to the grid). 

4. Understand that solar is a long term investment

It’s important to remember that solar is a long-term investment and a lot can change over the 20+ year life of your system. For instance, electricity prices and solar power buy-back rates could rise or fall, or your household’s energy consumption habits could change significantly – all of which would impact the ROI of your system. 

5. Who will do your installation?

Installing a solar PV system involves a fairly large financial investment, so you’ll want to make sure it’s done right. All electrical work must comply with New Zealand standards, solar installations need to adhere to local council regulations and building consent may be required in some areas depending on the details of your installation. 

Contact the solar panel installation experts 

If you’re looking for the best electricians in Auckland to install your solar PV system, we’re here to help. With more than 40 years of experience providing electrical services in the Auckland region, French Electrical has a proven history of delivering quality craftsmanship and top-notch customer service. 

Ready to take the next step on your solar journey? Get in touch with us today for a no-fuss, no strings attached discussion on how we can best help you. Give us a call on 09 274 8082, email us at info@www.frenchelectrical.co.nz or fill out our online enquiry form and a member of the team will be in touch with you shortly.

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