Frequently Asked Questions
These are some of the most common questions we get asked. There’s not always a one-size fits all answer, so please reach out and contact us if you would like more detail.
How much does solar power cost & how much will I save?
The good news is in today’s market solar panels and batteries are becoming more affordable, durable and efficient. As every household has its own distinct properties and consumption behaviours, understanding the financial benefits from solar will be unique for each individual.
Real-time power usage, direction of your home, roof size, number of panels, quality and standard of system design will all have an impact on the amount of energy you can generate and how much money you can save. To see an illustrative example, check out our article here.
Our sophisticated Solar software accurately calculates your savings, and we can talk you through the results.
Why should I choose CEP?
At Clean Energy Partners we make life easy for you by expertly managing your solar project from start to finish. We’ll consult with you, assess your needs, design the most appropriate and cost-effective system for you, work with our certified partners, manage compliance and be there for any service or maintenance requirements.
‘Partners’ isn’t just a word in our name to us - we want to create an ongoing relationship that helps you get the most out of your solar system.
I have seen some cheaper Solar panels advertised. Why shouldn’t I get them?
When it comes to investing in solar, we can’t emphasise the importance of understanding the consequences of ‘you get what you pay for’ enough.
Inferior products and design mean lower production or even the possibility of outright system failure. One wrong step during the purchase and installation phase could mean a lifetime of missed opportunity to generate more power and save money.
In addition to ensuring that our clients systems work effectively, we pride ourselves on making sure that they have considered the quality of the hardware (namely panels and the inverter) and that they are aware of the durability of their system.
To avoid frustration we recommend only Tier 1 graded hardware. Product specifications should be researched, evaluated and other users' feedback reviewed.
Do you offer fixed price or 'off the shelf' solutions?
No. CEP prefers to work with you to agree on a system which suits you and your property. The risk of selling a set system from an advertised special which isn’t suitable for you is not a risk we are willing to take. With solar, so many individual factors make up the final product. We prefer to ensure the optimal system for your property. Small things like power lines shading your roof can have unproportionally large negative impacts on your return, and are best assessed individually with a customised system which fits.
How do I know I’ll get enough sun and what effect does winter have?
We all know the iconic Crowded House song ‘Four Seasons in One Day’. Partner with us and we’ll help you navigate our unpredictable kiwi weather with ease.
The location of your panels and the angle of your roof will be critical factors to ensuring you can harness enough sun. However, did you know that solar energy can still produce electricity during overcast and cloudy weather? While the production of the system is reduced you can still take advantage and benefit from your system.
A big benefit of remaining grid-tied is that at any point in time, you can draw power from the grid at the same price as you were paying before.
Weather is only one aspect of winter though. Shorter days and the sun lower in the sky means naturally your generation won’t be as high as summer. But remember solar is for the long haul. There will be great months and poor months for producing. But when considered over the year, the production and savings will keep you happy even when clouds are around and the temperature is down.
Should I get a battery?
Batteries collect and store energy to use at a later time and for those that need it, they can be a good addition to a solar system. A battery can give more independence from the grid and reassurance for a rainy day, but they don’t make financial sense for everyone.
We recommend to our customers to settle into their solar lifestyle first and see how their system works. Then based on your ongoing solar profile, we can help you assess and decide if an additional battery system will be worth the investment. For more insight into batteries, check out our article here.
Can I go off-grid?
For people who have the flexibility to invest at a premium level, going off-grid is a high-end convenience that complements a modern, luxurious and self-sustaining lifestyle. Off-grid is a worthy consideration when faced with a hefty grid connection for new properties.
If you are highly driven by environmental rather than economic benefits of off-grid living then we can talk through off-grid options.
How long will my system last?
You can expect optimal output from solar panels for around 20-30 years while the lifetime of inverters is approximately 10 to 15 years. They will still function after that time - but energy production can start to decline. Care and regular maintenance will help you protect the lifetime of your system. Warranties are product specific, so make sure you keep an eye out for this.
Does that tree on the north side of my property matter?
Yes. Shading on solar can have devastating impacts if not designed properly. There is clever technology and design which can expertly navigate shading factors, while still providing a solid return on your investment.
An often overlooked consideration is small objects like cables, overflow pipes and aerials which cast small seemingly insignificant shadows. Despite only visually impacting one or two panels, incorrectly designed arrays will suffer more as linked panels will only produce as well as the worst panel in the array. Careful design is imperative to avoid disproportional losses and costly disappointment.
What impact will a solar system have on the value of my house?
In today’s market, buyers are now seeing the extra value solar energy has and they are willing to pay a premium for it. If you are planning on selling your house, Clean Energy Partners are more than happy to help you demonstrate the value and financial benefits of solar at your property.
Do I need to find a power bill?
With your authority, we request your electricity consumption data from the last two years from your power company. All we need from your power bill is the ICP number, (15 digits – mostly numbers with a few letters at the end – which is listed on your bill, usually near your account number, or your physical address. E.g 0000121203TREF2). Easy.
Be particularly wary of providers suggesting a system based on only two or three power bills worth of charges. This limited snapshot doesn’t give a full picture of when and how much power you use. If you have a smart meter, this is your chance to get it working smartly for you! We strongly recommend your prior two years’ data is accounted for in your solar appraisal. With smart tech comes clever solutions.