4 Things to Consider Before Installing Solar Power
Are you thinking about installing solar panels at your home?
The energy savings and ability to help the environment may be tempting reasons enough to install some panels on your roof.
But before you make the installation appointment, here’s how to ensure solar panels are suitable for your household.
2016 Solar Trial Provided Insight into NZ’s Electricity Needs
Eastland Network’s 2016 solar trial gathered data to prepare for the future electricity needs of the Gisborne, East Coast and Wairoa regions.
During the trial, nine residential properties received solar systems ranging in size from 2.5kWh to 4.16kWh to validate the economics of residential solar. Properties were chosen depending on the number of occupants, roof pitch, system size and building age.
Although full trial results are still being assessed, some feedback has already been garnered to help people make an informed decision around solar installation.
Is Your Roof Going to Last?
Homeowners considering installing solar panels should ensure their roof is going to last the next 25 years.
When roofs require repairs or a full replacement, solar panels will need to be removed – which could potentially void the manufacturer’s warranty.
Is Your Roof Easily Accessible?
Yes, the majority of work will be completed at the beginning when the solar panels are installed on your home.
However, regular maintenance will be needed on an ongoing basis. In order to do so successfully, your roof needs to have easy access.
Your solar panels will need to be cleaned off regularly. If the pitch is too dangerous or other barriers prevent you from climbing onto your roof safely, then solar panels may not be a great idea.
Are You Located where there’s Optimal Sunlight?
Your solar panels will only generate a successful amount of sunlight if your home faces the proper direction. Optimal roofs are north-facing and not shaded by trees.
An online tool such as Google Maps can identify the direction your roof faces to see if a suitable amount of sunlight would be available.
Can Your Household Maximize Electricity during Peak Sunshine Hours?
Without battery installations (which are an expensive addition to a solar installation), unused electricity is exported back to the grid immediately. So for solar power to be most effective, a household must use as much electricity as possible during daylight hours.
The trial showed that the minimal amount of power that homes should use is 5,000kWh for solar panels to be a great investment.
Other than installing solar panels, looking for ways to save on your energy costs? Switchme offers a free, online platform that enables Kiwis to easily switch to a more affordable energy supplier. Check it out today!