With the advancement of solar cell technology, solar panels are quickly becoming more and more common. In many parts of the world, these modern marvels are used to charge phones, power lights, and even provide energy to households.
But with certain drawbacks, the feasibility of solar panel use is sometimes brought to question. So, with this guide, we’ll walk you through the various pros and cons of solar panels along with their installation costs in a bid to help you decide whether or not they are right for you.
What can solar panels do?
Before we bombard you with pros, cons, material costs, and the like, we’d like to point out some of the capabilities of solar cell technology. This way, you’ll have a brief grasp of what solar panels can do and whether or not they’ll even be appropriate for your needs.
Assuming you receive enough sunlight, solar panels are capable of powering everything from small appliances to entire homes.
Now the charging process won’t begin overnight, but panels can actually allow you to charge up a solar battery, which acts almost like a backup generator.
In this sense, you can enter a perpetual cycle of using electricity during the day and solar power at night. If you’re the proud owner of an electric or hybrid car it’s also entirely possible to charge your car using power routed from your solar battery.
Now naturally, this is all under the assumption that you receive ample sunlight and are able to consistently charge every day. But, even if you aren’t able to fully charge your solar batteries, there are still plenty of benefits to using solar panels.
Lowers Electric bills
Since they allow you to effectively reduce or stop using commercially generated power, solar panels present an effective means of lowering your household electrical bills. The full extent of this reduction depends on your specific usage of solar energy.
For reference, it has been found that households that use 20% of their generated solar power can see reductions of up to $800 per year on their electrical bills. This reduction jumps to over $1,000 per year as solar power usage rises to 80%
If you need help calculating your home’s power consumption, you may want to check with an electrician.
Luckily, we’ve got reliable sources for electricians in every part of New Zealand, including Masterton, Dunedin, Rangiora, Levin, Hastings, Queenstown, Hamilton, Wellington, Auckland, and Christchurch
Protection From Power Outages
Though they are generally rare occurrences, power outages can be quite troublesome if they are unexpected. Having an array of solar panels installed on your home can allow you to continue your day as usual without being hassled by a lack of power.
Some solar power systems even make use of automatic switches which eliminate the need to manually switch to solar power during power outages. When your electricity has been restored these systems also switch back automatically to preserve your stored solar energy.
Installation Costs Can be Expensive
As energy-efficient as they are, the initial installation costs of solar panels are enough to make many people think twice. On average, systems ranging from 5 kilowatts (kW) to 10 kW will carry installation costs between $6,000 and $20,000 respectively.
We’ll go into greater detail in the next section of our guide but in general, most clients will end up shouldering the cost of installation as well as the price of the panels and solar batteries. To make matters worse, most systems will require a decade of use to fully return your investment.
Solar Panels Require Lots of Space
If you have the money to spare for a full solar energy system, the next possible bump in the road to installation could be your roof’s area. Since they run on sunlight, it would be pointless to have solar panels located elsewhere (unless of course, you receive sunlight 24/7).
Roofs that cannot accommodate a full-sized system will need to be supplemented by additional panels placed atop raised platforms in your yard. While this may be fine for some Kiwis, others may not enjoy the presence of several solar platforms in their garden.
The Cost of Solar Panels
As previously mentioned, the price range for solar energy systems can be between $6,000 and $20,000. To go into greater detail, we’ve taken the liberty of preparing a quick cost table that outlines systems based on their size and cost.
|System Size||Number of Solar Panel in the System||Total Cost|
|2kW||Seven 290W panels||$6,000|
|3kW||Ten 300W panels||$8,000|
|4kW||Fourteen 290W panels||$10,000|
|5kW||Seventeen 290W panels||$11,000|
|6kW||Twenty 300W panels||$13,000|
|10kW||Twenty-Eight 355W panels||$20,000|
It’s worth noting that these costs can vary with regard to your specific needs. In certain cases, you may need to hire a contractor or home builder to help create additional space to install your solar energy system.
For reference, we’ve gathered several sources for solar panel installation in Wellington, Christchurch, and Auckland. With these sources, you should have an easier time planning a budget for your solar energy system
Are they worth it?
When it comes to the question of whether solar energy panels are worth it, the answer is: it depends. If you have the money to invest in a reliable solar energy system, the slow return on investment may eventually lead to extremely big savings in the future.
However, if the large initial cost of installment could end up breaking the bank it may be best to simply adopt more energy-efficient practices at home. While this technique won’t provide the same level of savings as solar panels it can still aid in reducing your electrical bills.
That wraps up our guide to solar panels, whether you opt to go green or not, it’s important to practice energy-saving practices whenever possible. This not only cuts down on your bill but also reduces the overall carbon footprint of your household.