The Benefits of Adding Solar Panels to Your New Home Build
Adding solar panels to your new home build is one way to enjoy a sustainable power source — and one which may end up offering your family both financial and lifestyle benefits. HRV Solar is working with Kiwis to provide some of the best solar technologies available for their houses.
As prices have reduced over the years, and technologies have improved, residential solar power has grown in popularity in New Zealand. And if you’re building a new home, installing solar may be a small proportion of the overall costs — and one which you could consider adding to your mortgage. If you’ve been considering adding solar to your new home but don’t know where to start, read on to learn about the benefits of adding solar during building, asking your builder about your solar options, and when you should consider solar in the building process.
How Do Solar Panels Work?
We’ve all seen solar panels out in the sun, but you might not know how exactly they harness daylight and turn it into power. Solar panels are made up of a series of photovoltaic cells, which are able to catch and convert sunlight into usable energy for your home.
While you may be under the impression that solar panels need direct sunlight to generate electricity, it’s actually daylight they need, meaning the panels will still generate some electricity even on overcast, grey days. This is great news for places such as Invercargill and Dunedin who record an average of 1,600 sunshine hours each year, in comparison to Auckland’s 2,050 hours. If you’re curious to find out how much solar energy your home could harness, and what that might be worth to your family, check out our Solar E-Valuator tool.
What Are the Benefits of Installing Solar During my Build?
While solar can be installed on existing homes, it’s certainly easier to install while a home is being built. The first advantage to this is that you can incorporate solar into the plans for your home, ensuring they have the best placement and that your house is built with a favourable orientation. In addition you can choose roofing that will complement the panels to ensure they are aesthetically pleasing.
Additionally, installing solar during the building of your new home means that HRV Solar can work directly with your builder to coordinate the installation around the rest of the construction. For example, the ability to pre-wire the panels means that cabling and conduit can be hidden in the wall cavity. It also allows the solar panels to be installed at the same time as your roof, making use of scaffolding while it’s already up. As mentioned earlier, installing solar during your build can be a good time financially to make the decision as the cost of solar panels may be able to be added to your mortgage. Moreover, new builds in large developments with no trees don’t have to contend with shading, meaning you’ll be able to get the most out of your panels, harnessing as much solar potential as possible.
When Should I Consider Solar in My Build?
With so many things to be taken into account during the building process, it can be hard to know at which point everything needs to be considered. If you’re thinking of adding solar to your new home, your builders can be a massive asset in providing support and advice about when and how to go about the installation.
Generally speaking, it’s best to start thinking about solar early on in the build process - this way you can be sure that solar will be a perfect fit. HRV Solar can support you through the entire solar process from gathering information about your property, right through to installation and ongoing support.
For a standard new build, it’s best to be in touch with HRV Solar by the concepting stage of the build to learn about your options. Things that will need to be considered when installing solar include the pitch of your roof and the placement of the photovoltaic panels. Roof aspects of Northwest, North and Northeast will provide the best performance. However, in some circumstances, a system on an East or West facing roof will be the best fit, as it provides a wider window to use the energy generated.
If you’re planning to build an architecturally designed home, it’s best to involve HRV Solar early in the design process as the orientation of the house and pitch of the roof will need to be optimised for solar power. In New Zealand, solar panels should be mounted on a roof at between 25-35 degrees. Installation can be done on the majority of roof types, including corrugated iron, most Klip-Lok, trapezoidal, asphalt shingle, metal tile, concrete tile and membrane roofs. However, some roof types do require special mounting points.
Choosing solar batteries for your new build
In addition to solar panels, solar batteries are being increasingly considered as an option for those installing a solar photovoltaic system. Solar Batteries give you the ability to store extra solar power for later use, meaning you’ll draw from stored power before drawing from the grid. Companies such as Tesla, TrinaBESS, Panasonic and LG are leading the charge with solar batteries - all of HRV Solar’s systems come battery ready. If you’re considering a solar battery, you should factor in the mount as part of your new build.
If you’re ready to take the next step and include solar panels in your new home build, ask your builder about HRV Solar today, or alternatively you can give us a call, we’re here to answer any questions.