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Running on sunshine energy

Solar Energy use in our own homes is on the rise and with the uptake of EV cars, considering installing solar energy to support your EV charging is another important consideration. Being ready for a future that includes self-sustainable energy management is something we should all be preparing for even if we do not have an EV.
 |  The Informer  |  ,

In June 2022, over 3.2 million (32%) of all Australian homes were using solar energy. This figure moving into 2023 is now over 3.5 million. New Zealanders have been slow to take on this technology compared with Australian homeowners, perhaps through a lack of understanding the technology and having a perception that its expensive. The financial benefits of using solar energy in our homes is demonstrated with examples further in this article.

Grid supplied energy from our local network is most likely going to get more expensive, whilst solar modules at the moment are very cost effective. Considering your future energy use and making plans now to reduce your ongoing energy costs for the long term makes a lot of sense.

Not only are there significant financial benefits in running on sunshine, but also with battery supported systems, the ongoing supply of energy to keep you going during a network outage is another important benefit to consider.

Whitianga based Solar Energy Specialists GOOD ENERGY LTD are keen to encourage a greater understanding in our local community about the use of Solar Energy.

“We believe we have a responsibility to spread awareness of the benefits of solar generation and to educate our community so that we can all share in a more sustainable, more affordable future. We are always happy to answer questions and respond to enquiries, even if you are not sure that solar is for you.” says Heather Jack, Administration Manager, and co-owner of the business.

“It surprises us that not many of the new homes being built have a solar inclusion from the outset. The ideal time to plan and design a suitable solar energy system is during the house design stage. Integrating the solar cabling into the home during the electrical prewire ensures a seamless integration of the solar component during the build. Most of our installations are on existing homes or homes that have just been completed.”

We can certainly demonstrate the value of solar energy using our own home as an example. Our solar energy system supports both our home and office, it offsets our energy bill effectively. Here is a graph demonstrating our solar generation and energy consumption for November. This has been averaged out to show a normal daily cycle.”

The yellow represents solar energy – the blue is energy imported from the local network or grid. As you can see our solar system supports our entire daytime usage starting around 8am and ending around 6pm. You can also see where our highest demand is from 7am when we are having breakfast, dropping off by 9am and again from 6pm when we put the television on until we head off to bed around 9.30-10pm.”

“In general, we only use power from the grid when it is dark. All day we are running on sunshine. Our power bill for November was $112. We received a $29 credit for the energy we exported to the grid. Without a solar energy system our power account would be between $260 – $300 per month. We have a relatively modest system with 12 just solar modules.”

“We are going to introduce a lithium battery to our system in the coming weeks in order to capture approximately 7kWhrs of energy we export to the grid every day. This will then be stored and released into our home in the evening offsetting our use of the local grid, lowering our power account even further.”

“Just as we do in our own home, we are happy to say that we have many satisfied clients who are also successfully living off solar energy generated on their own rooftops.” Says Heather

For everyone investment in a solar energy system to offset ongoing energy bills is something that should be considered.

Setting up for lower energy costs in retirement is certainly another important focus for many of us as we get older. Paying off a solar system while we are still working and being prepared for our retirement years is another wise move.

In 2022 Good Energy installed a 6kW Enphase Solar Energy System for clients Barry & Ngaire of Whangamata. They were about to retire and wanted to reduce their outgoings.

Here is what they had to say –

“We had investigated installing solar power several years ago, but the salesperson was pushy, and the system seemed complicated with us having to install special plugs on all our electrical appliances. We have had solar hot water since building in 1997 and it was so simple, so why should solar power be so complicated.” says Ngaire.

“We investigated it again in 2022 and came across Heather and Simon from Good Energy who are so passionate about solar. They dropped in to investigate our site whilst away for the weekend. A system was agreed upon, installation was swift. Heather arranged all the paperwork with power companies and all compliance.”

“From August 2022 to August 2023 our total power bill has been $254.05 and that was in a summer of repeated cyclones and lots of visitors throughout the year. We can’t wait to see what our system could produce over a decent summer.”

Currently you can apply for a 5yr term bank loan at 0% interest for as much as $50,000 from Westpac to cover the cost of installing a Solar Energy system. Borrowing all or part of the funds to get solar energy running on your property could not be easier than it is right now. Good Energy Ltd is an approved SEANZ provider and can supply the documentation to support your finance application. Other banks also have options available.

In the coming months Good Energy is going to give us more in-depth information about solar energy by supplying content for a regular column starting at the end of January 2024, “What is SOLAR ENERGY?” The aim will be to enlighten us all about solar technology in simple terms from the basics, through to a better understanding of the types of systems available, and what to consider when looking for a solar energy installer.

“We have a genuine interest in helping people understand solar energy and benefitting from the technology. We are passionate about our industry and want everyone to have the best possible experience with solar energy.” says Heather.

Good Energy is available to answer your questions, give you guidance and hopefully get you running on sunshine with your very own solar energy installation. Watch out for the new column to learn more or send them an inquiry today.