A new solar energy calculator has been developed by the Electrical Power Engineering Centre and the University of Canterbury which estimates the value of installing a solar energy system in New Zealand homes. It uses information including house location, roof information, current energy usage and installation size to estimate low long it will take to get your money back. The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) is hosting the tool on its ENERGYWISE website as independent advice in response to increasing public interest in solar electricity systems.
This helps residents to assess whether solar is a good choice for their house. Solar might not be the best choice for all residential homes despite claims of some solar providers claims. For example, if you work or stay at home during the day this improves the economics of a solar installation and can result in impressive savings long term. However if energy use is low during the day solar might not be the best choice as batteries large enough to hold power for household use in the evening remains prohibitively expensive for most. The tool has been designed for typical NZ homes and is not applicable for commercial buildings or off-grid applications.
So is a solar installation a good choice for your home? Try out the calculator and see how long it will take to earn back costs of installation and expected earnings over 25 years.