Anyone Try Solar?

Old Oct 2nd 2019, 4:32 am
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Default Anyone Try Solar?

My partner and i live in a 1 year old home in North Canterbury and just recently have been looking into solar power. The sole reason we are doing it is to cut bills. We get married in a few months and are hoping for a family not long after so seeking the best ways to do that. I looked at buying solar panels alone but i've heard mixed reviews where they provide little to no savings in winter and since a solar system is around $10,000 it will take around 14 years to pay off or 10 if we are lucky. Another option is getting a battery system which makes it $5000 more expensive meaning taking even longer to pay off and batteries are only good for 10 years or so, so essentially useless as an investment until they are cheaper. The last option which actually seems most viable is a company called Solar city, they install your panels and battery for free and you pay for the system each month. This charge essentially covers installation and maintenance. I was wondering if any of you guys have Solar or know anyone who has had Solar installed and would you recommend it? Cheers
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Old Oct 5th 2019, 4:04 am
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Default Re: Anyone Try Solar?

I've done a lot of research in to it and a few colleagues have spent the cash and got decent systems. There's only a couple of panels that are any good at the moment. LG and Samsung I think and these come with 25yr warranty. All the cheaper stuff is just crap and will fail in a matter of a few years of which it'll probably also be out of warranty so you'll have to pay again to replace. You'll need to spend at least $15k-$17k for a decent system of sufficient size for a couple adults and that is with zero storage. That is simply a system that feeds in to your meter and offsets what you pay to the power company. My colleagues have slashed their annual power bills of around $2k down to near zero or a few hundred dollars but to do that they've had to spend $15k-$17k. There is pretty much no incentive to have solar and you aren't gonna be paid heaps by generating any excess back in to the local network. The buy back tariff is tiny. There are also little options for the storage systems which do make it worthwhile but at an even higher price. The Tesla power wall or whatever it is called today is reportedly the best at the moment but that'll cost another $17k to buy plus around $4k fitting. It gets a nah from me!
You'd be much better off waiting till Kiwi's can have the $9k grant to offset import costs for an EV from mid 2021 (if it gets approved). Buy a really good used EV that can feed back in to your house - maybe around $40k by then.....well here's hoping! Way better storage option and way more versatile as you also get to use it as a car as well as a portable battery to power stuff in the home.
My mate at work regrets spending the $17k on his solar system now. Hasn't realised the benefit out of it and will take 10 more years than expected till it has paid for itself.
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Old Oct 5th 2019, 4:25 am
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Default Re: Anyone Try Solar?

Originally Posted by escapedtonz View Post
I've done a lot of research in to it and a few colleagues have spent the cash and got decent systems. There's only a couple of panels that are any good at the moment. LG and Samsung I think and these come with 25yr warranty. All the cheaper stuff is just crap and will fail in a matter of a few years of which it'll probably also be out of warranty so you'll have to pay again to replace. You'll need to spend at least $15k-$17k for a decent system of sufficient size for a couple adults and that is with zero storage. That is simply a system that feeds in to your meter and offsets what you pay to the power company. My colleagues have slashed their annual power bills of around $2k down to near zero or a few hundred dollars but to do that they've had to spend $15k-$17k. There is pretty much no incentive to have solar and you aren't gonna be paid heaps by generating any excess back in to the local network. The buy back tariff is tiny. There are also little options for the storage systems which do make it worthwhile but at an even higher price. The Tesla power wall or whatever it is called today is reportedly the best at the moment but that'll cost another $17k to buy plus around $4k fitting. It gets a nah from me!
You'd be much better off waiting till Kiwi's can have the $9k grant to offset import costs for an EV from mid 2021 (if it gets approved). Buy a really good used EV that can feed back in to your house - maybe around $40k by then.....well here's hoping! Way better storage option and way more versatile as you also get to use it as a car as well as a portable battery to power stuff in the home.
My mate at work regrets spending the $17k on his solar system now. Hasn't realised the benefit out of it and will take 10 more years than expected till it has paid for itself.

Thanks for the reply, we just had a quote from Harrisons for 10 315w high REC performance panels which equals around 3.2kw. A 5kw inverter, a timer for the hot water cylinder so it's only turned on during the day which comes to $10,500. If we got with the Panasonic panels it is only $9000. Over 10 years it would be roughly $115 per month if we stick it on the mortgage. It has a 25 year guarantee for the panels so 15 more years after we pay it off. Also hoping to save $1000-$1200 in power every year and as power prices inflate so does our savings. The prices have went down substantially however the batteries still aren't worth it as they only last 10 years and cost as much as the panels so will wait until they drop in the future before purchasing. Finally good to see solar prices drop in New Zealand especially considering most places get over 2000 hours of sunshine a year. I'm curious to know what size of systems they installed, perhaps it was many years ago when prices were still stupidly high?
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Old Oct 5th 2019, 11:01 am
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Default Re: Anyone Try Solar?

If the return is good on solar why doesn't it work on an industrial scale solar farm as an investment? Typically these things create efficiencies of scale so pooling resources improves returns above those achievable through local optimization.
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Old Oct 5th 2019, 9:45 pm
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Default Re: Anyone Try Solar?

Originally Posted by Charismatic View Post
If the return is good on solar why doesn't it work on an industrial scale solar farm as an investment? Typically these things create efficiencies of scale so pooling resources improves returns above those achievable through local optimization.
It depends how you look at it. It will take 10 years to pay off while giving another 15-20 years of power savings on top of that. That might seem like a no brainer to many people but for others not so much. For example it will mean we need to get a hot water cylinder timer so it runs during the day and try and make sure the power hungry appliances really only run during daylight so we actually consume as much as possible what we produce.

Also many people really aren't interested until battery units drop in price. At the moment they only last 10 years and take that time to pay off so have no financial benefit. Once they drop in price or increase in lifespan then essentially people can store what they don't use and then use it during dark hours meaning one could cut 80%-90% of their bill entirely
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