With rising electricity prices, as well as a focus on doing our bit for the environment, solar energy has boomed in recent years. If we think back 10 or 15 years, installing solar panels on your home was considered a luxury. The price of the technology was far too high for the regular homeowner to afford. But now, with solar installation cost decreases and electricity prices rising, there’s perhaps never been a better time to consider solar energy.
In New Zealand, there’s plenty of sun, which means free energy for those who opt to install solar panels on their home. While you’ll still rely on the main electricity grid in the evenings and when the sun isn’t shining, solar energy lets you power your home for free during daylight hours.You can even consider totally off-grid solar, meaning you have the capacity to store energy in a battery for use when the sun isn’t shining. This option is more expensive, however the cost of energy storage is also decreasing.
Here’s a few of the reasons you should consider solar energy in New Zealand.
Solar energy is free
Everybody loves getting something for free, right? It feels like the cost of living goes up every day, and it’s harder and harder to meet all our financial commitments. That’s where solar energy can be a huge benefit. Energy from the sun is completely free, provided you have the equipment to harness that energy.
Installing solar power obviously comes with an upfront cost, which will vary depending on the size of system you want. However, many projections suggest that the upfront cost is gained back within 3 years. After that, the savings are all yours.
So, while there’s a bit of money to shell out to get started, imagine having low energy bills for a lifetime. Or, with off-grid solar, no energy bills at all!
New Zealand has plenty of sun
There is a common misconception that New Zealand isn’t suited to solar energy because it’s not warm enough. This is completely untrue, because solar energy is a viable solution for practically every country on earth. New Zealand in particular is very well suited to solar energy because we actually have an abundance of sunlight.
Solar potential is actually measured by irradiance, not temperature. So, even in the cooler months, New Zealand actually has plenty of solar potential – even more so than the UK, and on par with many parts of Europe.
It’s better for the environment
Naturally, climate change is a big focus in today’s world, and is one of the leading drivers behind a push towards renewable energy. In extremely simply terms, using coal generated and other forms of energy is more harmful to the environment than solar. Solar has practically no impact, it’s a renewable energy source that will never go away, and there’s more energy in the sun than we could ever need.
Many people are trying to reduce their carbon footprint, and going solar is one of the best ways you can do that. WIth less reliance on other forms of energy, we can significantly reduce carbon emissions across the country.
Adds value to your home
From a more personal point of view, solar energy can actually add value to your home. With many people wanting to harness the power of solar energy these days, it makes sense that homes with solar are more attractive to buyers.
Many new homes are being built with solar panels installed from the outset. If buyers are keen on solar energy, you can make your home stand out in the competitive real estate market. You’ll obviously get the ongoing benefits yourself while living in your home, but it’s a nice thought that your home will be more attractive to buyers when the time comes to sell.
Less wasted energy
While it doesn’t affect your wallet directly, the process of delivering energy to your home is somewhat of a wasteful exercise. It’s estimated that between 3-5% of energy is lost during transportation and distribution. This is easy to imagine when you consider that energy needs to get from where it’s generated, to the main grid, and then out to thousands of homes.
Because this loss occurs before it reaches your home, you don’t notice the difference, but the environment sure does. Having solar panels installed on your roof is a much more effective way of powering your home, because energy is delivered right from the source.
Protection against blackouts
Finally, the dreaded blackout situation. Nobody enjoys blackouts. They’re inconvenient, frustrating, and can even be costly if your refrigerator is off for a decent amount of time and your food spoils. Well, with solar energy, you can say goodbye to blackouts – during the day at least.
Without reliance on the main electricity grid, you’re also free of all the problems with the main grid. So, while others struggle through a blackout, your home will be comfortably powered by the sun. If you’ve got off-grid solar with energy storage, you’ll even be protected against blackouts in the evening.