FAQ

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FAQ2020-04-22T06:39:50+12:00
Why should I go Solar?2017-11-28T10:41:47+13:00

Save money on your power-bill, invest in your property with an average of a 10% return, gain independence from the power companies and have power in a power cut (with batteries)

Should I go ‘Off-Grid’?2018-07-24T16:33:47+12:00

If you are already connected to electricity then you shouldn’t go off the grid, as there is no return on investment at this stage.
If you are not connected to the grid and it is going to cost you more than $30,000 to become connected to the grid then we suggest you start looking into off-the-grid solutions.

What is the physical size of the panels?2018-07-24T16:36:51+12:00

1m x1.65m

What happens when it rains?2018-07-24T14:24:28+12:00

Solar PV Panels are light efficient, therefore they will still work on a cloudy or rainy day, just not as effectively as they would on a sunny day.

What happens at night?2017-11-28T10:49:19+13:00

If you don’t have batteries then you pull power from the grid as you would normally

Can I install it myself?2017-11-28T10:54:03+13:00

Yes you can. We don’t recommend this however, and we do require photographic evidence to ensure you get your warranty.

How many panels do I need?2017-11-28T10:44:42+13:00

It varies from home to home. We do a proper analysis of your power-bill & usage to decipher what size is best for you. It can be anywhere from 6-200 panels. (Although an average family home needs around 10).

What is the difference between a string and micro inverter? What one is better?2018-07-24T14:23:59+12:00

A string inverter is one inverter that controls all of the panels, a micro inverter is an individual inverter that goes underneath each individual panel. We will work with you to see which inverter is best for your property.

Do I need a Battery?2018-07-24T14:00:55+12:00

We will sit with you to figure out if a Battery is appropriate for your property and what size Battery you need. The average home needs anywhere between a 4.8kW Battery to a 14kW Battery?

What is the wattage of the panels?2018-07-24T14:08:38+12:00

This ranges from 270 – 305 watts per panel.

Do I need building consent?2017-11-28T10:49:50+13:00

No

Do I need lines consent and a new meter?2018-07-24T16:59:40+12:00

Yes you do, however we organise this for you. Lines consent is a must for every network around NZ in order to obtain compliance and a new meter is required so that you can import and export power from the grid.

Do I have to pay for my new import/export meter?2018-07-24T14:17:52+12:00

Yes you do, this is a one off fee that is around $100-$350 depending on which power company you are with and how many phases you are.

Do I need to change power-companies?2018-07-24T14:18:21+12:00

If you are with Mercury, Meridian, Trustpower, Genesis, Ecotricity, Contact Energy or Pulse then you do not need to change, if you are not, then you will need to change to one of the above companies who do support Solar.

What type of roof do you need? Does it have to be facing north?2019-08-12T12:25:35+12:00

 We work with nearly every roof, except for a couple of unique types. Tin, decramastic tiles and concrete tiles are ones we typically install on. We like to install as many of the panels on a north facing roof but if we only have an east or west roof to work with then that is also great for Solar.

How big are the panels?2019-08-12T12:23:55+12:00

They are 1m x 1.67m and they usually have a wattage of 315 watts each.

Where do the solar panels go?2019-08-12T12:22:43+12:00

Typically, we put them on your house or garage roof. If you have limited roof space or prefer not to have them on your roof, then you can put them on a tilted ground mount.

I’m building a tiny home?2019-08-12T12:21:31+12:00
  • If you are ‘on-grid’ then no problem, we can provide panels, inverters and batteries to help reduce your power-bill.
  • If you are wanting to go off-grid, then you have the issue of limited roof space, you need to be willing to put a ground mount near the tiny house to allow you to have enough panels.
  • Even though the home is small you will still need to spend around $25-$35,000
So, what about batteries? How much do they cost?2019-08-12T12:20:31+12:00
  • We are only using lithium ion Batteries that come with a 10 year warranty. The Tesla Powerwall 2 Battery stores 14kW and is big enough for most homes. They have a price tag of $16,500 installed and including GST (as of 11/08/19)
  • We also have smaller batteries (4.8kW) that start at around $10,000 installed.
  • All of our batteries come with emergency power supply (EPS) which means that you have power in a power cut.
But I want to go off-grid?2019-08-12T12:19:07+12:00
  • If it costs you more than $40,000 to get power connected to your house, then it may be a good idea to consider going off-grid completely. You need to have gas water, gas heating and gas cooking and you need to be willing to live a simple electrical life. No spa pools, electric blankets etc., unless you want to pay big dollars for it (think $100,000).
  • If you are already connected to the grid, then there is absolutely no return on your investment to go off grid. 
  • You need to be willing to spend around $30-$50,000 to go off grid and live a simple electronic life. We only use high quality inverters and lithium ion batteries and are not willing to supply any other cheaper brands.
How long do the panels last for?2019-08-12T12:17:26+12:00

Our panels come with 25 to 30-year performance warranties, at 25 years they are still producing at 80% efficiency, so their life expectancy could be 40 years or more. Our inverters come with a 10-year warranty and their life expectancy is around 15-20 years.

Can I add more panels and a battery to my system at a later stage?2019-08-12T12:15:46+12:00

We talk with you about what you want. If you would like the ability to add more panels and/or batteries to your system in the future, then we can future-proof you for this.

How much do you get paid for your exported power?2019-08-12T12:11:05+12:00
  • Anywhere between 5 & 8c per kW. 
  • We are now Mercury’s official resellers of Solar for the Central North Island. This means that if you go Solar with Ecoefficient Solutions and have Mercury as your power company and receive the GEM for Solar monitoring tool, then you have the option of getting paid 12c per kW exported.
How does the power get exported to the grid? What if I don’t want to export to the grid?2019-08-12T12:08:58+12:00

You require an import/export meter which your power company will provide for you. This counts the amount of power that you import/export. The exported power is credited to you on your power-bill. In New Zealand, this is the ‘on-grid’ compliance requirements. We do not design the system for you to be making money off your panels by exporting back to the grid, but you will naturally feed power back to the grid if you have excess (think long summer days where you are at the beach and your house is powered and your battery is full – excess has to go somewhere!)

How much does solar cost for an average sized house?2019-08-12T11:50:02+12:00

It doesn’t matter about the size of your home, it matters about the size of your power-bill and the type of appliances you are running. If you have a $200 monthly power-bill then you probably need around 8-12 Solar Panels (2-4kW), this costs around $8,000-$12,000 installed on-grid (this depends on your installation).

How much is one solar panel?2019-08-12T11:52:04+12:00

We sell a minimum of 6 solar panels with an inverter installed for around $7000.

Do I have to be with a specific power company?2019-08-12T12:06:18+12:00

Yes you do. Most power companies now support Solar, however feel free to check with us or them directly to see if they provide import/export metering.

What happens when it rains, or in Winter?2019-08-12T12:04:32+12:00

Solar Panels work off light, not heat. The panels will work less on a dimmer day than a brighter day but they still work.

What happens in a power-cut?2019-08-12T12:02:45+12:00

If you have a Battery that has emergency power supply (EPS) then you will have power available to some appliances. You can choose what appliances you would like in a power-cut. If you only have Solar and no Battery, then you will also have no power like everyone else.

How does it work?2019-08-12T11:54:50+12:00

 The Solar Panels produce a direct current of electricity (DC), this then needs to go to an inverter which changes the current to usable power, alternating current (AC). The inverter then sends the power to the household appliances which provides electricity to them (think dishwasher, washing machine, fridges etc.), any excess power goes back to the grid, which you get a small credit of anywhere between 5 & 12c per kW exported.

What happens at night time?2019-08-12T12:01:12+12:00

If you don’t have a Battery, then you will pull the power from the grid. This is automatic, and you won’t know when this is happening. If you have a Battery, then you will power your home from the Battery. If your Battery is empty, then you will put from the grid automatically.

How much do you save?2019-08-12T12:00:18+12:00

We aim to reduce your power-bill by around 50% with Solar alone, or up to 90% with Solar and a Battery. We cannot guarantee this saving, as it all depends on your power usage and habits.

I want solar and batteries, what is the cost now?2019-08-12T11:58:03+12:00
  • If you want Solar and Batteries, then you need enough Panels to power your house during the day AND charge your battery. Therefore, we need more panels. 
  • On average, you will need between 14-22 Panels and a Battery. This ranges from $25 – $40,000 installed.
What if I have a flat roof?2019-08-12T12:41:35+12:00

We would install the panels on tilts facing North.

I am buying an electric car, Can solar and batteries charge it?2019-08-12T12:41:30+12:00
  • Short answer, yes it can, however we don’t want to charge it from zero to one hundred, as the Solar and Batteries will not be able to keep up with it.
  • The best way to charge a car off Solar and Batteries is to top it up each day or night, say from 80-100% so that the Solar and Batteries can keep up
Does this heat your water?2019-08-12T12:41:28+12:00
  • Short answer, yes. However, we do not provide or recommend Solar hot water tubes/panels. Heating water directly on your roof is now considered old technology. There is a large amount of maintenance required for Solar hot water and in winter it sometimes leaves you with cold water. 
  • We provide Solar Panels that produce POWER and we divert that power into your cylinder. This then powers the element within your cylinder, meaning that your hot water is now powered by electricity.
But we have gas?2019-08-12T12:41:25+12:00
  • No problem. Remember that Solar Photovoltaic Panels provide Power to any appliance that requires electricity, so if you have a fridge, lights, tv’s, oven, washing machine, dishwasher, water-pump, spa pools etc., then Solar is for you!
  • If you have a hot water cylinder, then even better, we can power that as well!
  • If you are building a new home and are putting in Solar Power, then we recommend that you install a hot water cylinder or a hot water heat pump so that the Solar can power this. We cannot power Gas therefore you always will have a Gas bill no matter how much Solar and Batteries you put in.
But we heat our house with a fire?2019-08-12T12:41:21+12:00

No problem. Solar provides power for your appliances, it is not a heat source.

What if I have a ‘solar-ready’ cylinder?2019-08-12T12:41:19+12:00

That’s great but it isn’t needed for Solar Power. You can have any cylinder to be powered by Solar Panels.

Can you retrofit solar or is it only for new builds?2019-08-12T12:40:56+12:00

Solar costs approximately the same to be installed to an existing home as it does for a new build.