Solar power a modern trend
The price of gridconnected solar power systems has halved over the past 10 years.
For many homeowners, that means that generating our own power is now very achievable.
In fact, small grid-connected solar installations in New Zealand have increased by at least 330 per cent in the past two years, according to a new report by Green Grid Research.
For people who use lots of power in the daytime, the economics of going solar make sense.
However in my experience, the financial side for working families who are usually out during the day is often a minor benefit.
So why is everyone suddenly going solar?
As with the growing demand for local food, connected communities and active transport options, many New Zealanders want to have more direct influence over the energy they use.
Ever-rising power prices, and the recent partial sell-down of government electricity assets, have decreased many people’s sense of control over their energy costs.
Generating electricity directly from the sun allows us to regain control from the big power companies.
All good solar
systems include simple monitoring systems showing the solar power generated, energy consumed, and what’s sold back to the grid. Using the information, households can dramatically cut energy costs.
Solar power can allow us to reduce power bills and have a say in the electricity market.
Investing in solar panels isn’t the only way. We can vote with our wallets by finding ways to reduce electricity consumption.
If you are considering solar, make sure you get a full energy audit of your home before you begin. But if you really want to get connected to solar, now is the best time.
Economists say the exchange rate could drop within the next year – and that can only raise the price of solar systems.