Frequently Asked Questions

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Answers to some common solar queries

What is a kilowatt hour?

A measure of electrical energy equivalent to a power consumption of one thousand watts for one hour. It is one of the standardised ways of measuring and calculating energy.

What’s the difference between off-grid and grid-tied solar power? Am I able to go off-grid?

At this stage, most systems will be grid-tied. Essentially this means whenever solar energy is not available (outside of daylight hours if you don’t have storage batteries, or in the event of you running out of stored energy outside of daylight hours if you do) your system will draw power from the grid. This ensures seamless access to power.

You will still receive power bills, though these will be reduced due to a percentage of your electricity coming from solar. 

Off-grid systems will have significant storage capability, so you can power your home 24/7 with solar – even when the system isn’t generating energy. Batteries can be a large investment and do require regular maintenance, so whilst it is possible to ‘go off-grid’, depending on your motivation this may not be the best option for you.

If you are planning on building or renovating in a remote location that isn’t currently connected to the grid, installing an off-grid solar power system can work out to be better option financially than getting the property connected to the grid.

Can I upgrade my system in the future?

Absolutely! At any stage in the future, increasing your solar capacity (including adding battery storage) is simple. Chat to our team about your changing needs.

Does the government offer subsidies for solar power systems?

Unfortunately, the government doesn’t currently offer subsidies. If you’re curious about the cost of a Solar Solution, try our E-Valuator for an estimate – solar may be more affordable than you think!

Will the weight of solar panels damage or weaken my roof?

There’s no need to worry about the added weight of solar panels. The combined load of solar panels plus the mounting components is around 15kg per square meter – that’s significantly less than roofing tiles.

Will I still be able to use all my electrical appliances 24/7?

As you will still be connected to the national power grid, there will always be power available. Saying that, to make the most of your Solar Solution we do encourage that you shift any power usage that can happen during the day, such as washing machines, dishwashers and charging laptops, to happen during daylight hours while your system is generating power.

Will I still have power in the event of a grid power outage?

In most cases no. The New Zealand Electrical Code asks that solar power systems automatically disconnect in the event of a power outage, to protect workers fixing the issue from potential electrocution.

The exception to this would be if you add a backup battery system, which would let you power some lighting and outlets. If you’re interested in backup batteries our team can talk you through your options.

Will the orientation and slope of my roof affect the performance of my system?

The short answer is yes, the orientation and slope of your roof does matter. The ideal roof has a 30-degree slope and faces true north. But if yours isn’t optimal, don’t worry! Our expert team are able to make the most of your roof orientation with a variety of techniques, including tilted mounts. Once an assessment of your property has taken place we can chat to you about your options.

Can you install on all roof types?

We can install solar panels on most kinds of roof, including metal, composite, and tile. Your roof type will have an effect on the final price of your system, as some mounts are more complex.

How can I increase the overall energy efficiency of my home?

It’s always a great idea to try to maximise the energy efficiency of your home, whether or not you have a solar power system installed.

Changes you can make include using energy efficient lightbulbs, investing in appliances with high energy efficiency ratings, and installing low flow shower heads. You may also want to look at your insulation and consider installing double glazing.

You can find more tips and tricks here.

Will I need to change electricity provider?

Almost everyone can stay with your current supplier, as most companies now offer billing and metering arrangements to work with grid-connected solar power systems.

You may like to shop around suppliers, as buy back rates on power your system feeds back into the grid do vary.

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To maintain optimum performance of your Solar Solution, we recommend it is regularly serviced by an HRV Solar expert. Unsure when your system’s next service is due? No problem - give us a call and we can check your service history.
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Lost your manual, or recently moved into a house with an existing HRV solar system? You can find manuals for all our products here.