Home > Reviews From Solar Power System Owners

Reviews From Solar Power System Owners

We have asked people that brought a solar power system after getting 3 quotes through My Solar Quotes how their solar power systems are going! We asked:
What size system did you install?
How long has your solar power system been running for?
How did you find the solar installation?
How have you found the performance of the solar power system?
Do you have any other comments that you would like to share with New Zealanders thinking about going solar?


Derek, Christchurch, Canterbury

Derek, Christchurch

Review Date: 07/07/2015

Size: 3 kW

Running for: 12 days

Comments on the installation: "Researched on the web and got 5 quotes. Went with World solar as they were by far the most economical and used quality components. They did a great job."

Comments on the system performance: "Only been 20 days in the darkest coldest part of the year but is producing on average 5.5 kWh per day which is about one third of our daily winter requirements. Hasn't come through on power bills yet, but will make a difference and will only get better as the weather improves."

Advice: "Research carefully, and don't get a system too big for your needs. Ours is probably a bit big for us at present (only 2 people) but want to get electric vehicle in near future so will suck up the extra power easily then. If you have to export too much to the grid you get very little back. (5.75c/kWh from Genesis )."

John, Dunedin, Otago

Review Date: 16/06/2015

Size: 5 kW

Running for: 12 days

Comments on the installation: "I am happy with the solar installation product in every way. The installers were respectful of my property and did a professional job. The installers did the job efficiently and in a good time frame."

Comments on the system performance: "By adapting to using electricity when the Solar P.V. system is generating I have found the system performs very well. I haven't yet had my WIFI monitoring of the system set up but the last week's Meridian electricity usage update stated I had used 65% less electricity for that week. The Solar P.V. system had only been operating for 50% of that week. I calculated that if it had been a whole week the Solar P.V. system was operating ,I would have paid only 32% of my normal electricity bill I would have had not with the Solar P.V. system. For winter it is performing quite well but I can't be too specific because i don't yet have WIFI monitoring. At this early stage I haven't yet received a power bill covering Solar P.V. system usage, but I will definitely be saving a noticeable and worth while amount."

Advice: "It is a long term investment, you pay up front for the system but in 7 or 8 years time the savings will have paid for the system if you buy a $7,059.99 system. From then on you get cheap electricity bills. It is a good way to prepare for retirement if you buy the system at least 7 years before retiring. Electricity is the second highest overhead for living so if you can reduce that over head you are at a distinct advantage financially."

Buddy, Thames-Coromandel , Waikato

Buddy, Thames-Coromandel

Review Date: 20/05/2015

Size: 1.5 kW

Running for: 2 months

Comments on the installation: Time taken - "almost a full day"

Comments on the system performance: "It looks to be producing well but I haven't been able to gauge how much it has reduced my power bill because the retailer has not yet installed the appropriate meter."

Advice: "Make sure the retailer is on board if you are not going completely off-grid."

Peter, Western Bay of Plenty, Bay Of Plenty

Review Date: 17/05/2015

Size: 4 kW

Running for: 2+ Months

Comments on the installation: "Very good, quick and very helpful."

Comments on the system performance: "Currently saving about 2/3 of earlier (pre-solar) bills."

Advice: "Mysolarquotes provided an extremely useful service with 3 providers contacting me and all visiting and giving quotes. We did not select the cheaper, but the one who appeared to understand our needs and were technically convincing that they knew what they were talking about. It was an electricain we were talking to, not a sales person."

Liz, Rodney, Auckland

Review Date: 05/05/2015

Size: 1.5 kW

Running for: 1 month

Comments on the installation: "Installation was quick and pain free except that when the salesperson came and checked my verandah (where the panels are installed) he didn't see that some of the purlins were rotten and so I had to get them back to remove the panels to allow the builder to replace them. The whole process took two hours plus there would have been two hours travel and they charged me for a whole day which I thought was a bit rich. Also, the salesperson said they would put some panels on the north-west facing verandah and some on the north east facing one which, unless you use micro-inverters on each panel is impossible with a single inverter. I would say that buyers really need to be well educated on solar systems and their requirements before purchasing them so as to get the best from their installation."

Comments on the system performance: "The system works pretty well although it could work better. The roof line shades the north east facing verandah roof in the afternoon so the generating period is shorter than it could be in Summer and Autumn. I have yet to see how it performs over winter. The 1.5 KwH system usually provides as much power as I use in a day except, as it is grid-tied rather than using battery storage, at night I use power from the grid. Also, my hot water heater is 3kW so the system doesn't generate enough to heat it. Over winter I have a wet back so that heats the water. I was paying on average $60 a month in electricity I now pay a total of approx $25 a month of which $10 is the daily rate. I've been keeping a tally of daily readings for two months and the daily average net electricity usage is 0.50c excl GST. So yes, the system does save me money. However for a family I'd say a bigger system would be required."

Advice: "If you are a smart electricity user, use the solar generation during the day when it is generating and keep night time use to a minimum, always turn off appliances and don't leave them on standby etc you will save money no doubt. There is encouraging news regarding battery storage with Tesla producing a 7.5kW and a 10kW battery for home gen use. They cost around $3500US and no doubt will come down in price over time. So going off the grid, which is what I want to do, is possible at a reasonable price."

Ian, Palmerston North, Manawatu-Whanganui

Review Date: 27/04/2015

Size: 2 kW

Running for: 6 weeks

Comments on the installation: "When parts finally arrived, installation went smoothly. Installers were very helpful and it took two days to complete."

Comments on the system performance: "Seems to be working well. I reckon to have saved ~$30 on the last electricity bill."

Advice: "Good idea if you can find the upfront cost of the panels."

Mark, Hastings, Hawkes Bay

Review Date: 22/03/2015

Size: 4 kW

Running for: 3 month

Comments on the installation: "The installation went smoothly with a A1 installer, THEN the wait for a new import/export meter (frustrating)."

Comments on the system performance: "No problem with performance due to a high sunshine hours this summer, as its only been operating for 3 power bills will look at how cost effective it is as winter comes along.  Main problem is the over the top estimates from my chosen power company."

Advice: "This is not about solar power BUT the amount of over pricing then lowering the price with subsidys in the insulation trade (boardering on fraud) over smaller installers who offer the same end price (with no subsidys)."

Geoff, Central Hawkes Bay, Hawkes Bay

Review Date: 14/03/2015

Size: 3.2 kW

Running for: 2 months

Comments on the installation: "Found the solar installer by on line web search , he was the first to reply, arrive , quote and thus secure the job , the instillation was completed in under the time , with an increased capacity , perfect contact maintained throughout"

Comments on the system performance: "Have not had experience enough to come up with any reliable details of performance , there has been some noticeable drop in power bills , approximately halved , bearing in mind this is over the summer months."

Advice: "Have dealt with Contact for years , they are all but impossible to deal with , the main problem being their inability to call a spade a spade ... their very involved repayment system, has yet to be sorted , several months in ,but their quoted buy in rate by far the most generous around , once working expect to recieve the excellent service provided prior , to the 8mth delays generated, during the change over."

Tony, Selwyn, Canterbury

Review Date: 14/03/2015

Size: 5.1 kW, 20 x 255W panels with Enasolar inverta plus immerSUN self-consumption controller

Running for: 3 months

Comments on the installation: "Installers very respectful and courtious. Job done 2 days."

Comments on the system performance: "Solar Living" are Christchurch based and the dialogue has been perfect. I believe they have gone beyound what is expected of a Company. After seeing the performance of Solar Electric pannels they should be compulsary for every new build. Government could do more to promote this energy source."

Advice: ""Solar Living" are Christchurch based and the dialogue has been perfect. I believe they have gone beyound what is expected of a Company. After seeing the performance of Solar Electric pannels they should be compulsary for every new build. Government could do more to promote this energy source."

Shannon, Christchurch City, Canterbury

Review Date: 02/03/2015

Size: 3.24 kW

Running for: 1 month

Comments on the installation: "Great team of guys from Ashburton who installed for Harrisons"

Comments on the system performance: "It's going well, north aspect averaging 13kwh per day. Have not had a power bill as homegen was only recently installed. Delta who install these let the process down and the solar industry needs to find some other company who can provide a better service."

Advice: "Why wait, start saving now."

Alistair, Auckland

Review Date: 01/03/2015

Size: 4kW

Running for: 2 weeks

Comments on the installation: "The installers were amazingly courteous and very respectful while explaining what they were doing along the way of the install."

Comments on the system performance: "We haven't had a bill yet but have been checking on the app and it appears to be working really well."

Advice: "Wish I had done it years ago and planning more installs on commercial buildings."

Shirley, Papakura, Auckland

Review Date: 17/02/2015

Size: 3kW

Running for: 3 months

Comments on the installation: "Excellent, trouble free installation. Took 2 half days. However Counties Power took 2 months to install the smart meters but Xmas and New Year did intervene."

Comments on the system performance: "Performance satisfactory. Best week averaged 15.6 kWh/day, worst week in mid-Dec was 9.8 kWh/day. Best day = 19.9 kWh. Since solar was connected, 93 days ago we have produced 1236 kWh, averaging about 13.3 kWh/day. We were told that the system would average about 11.7 kWh/day over a year so the estimate looks good.  Our power bills for November and January were about 20% less than previous year and we had guests over the festive period, which we didn't have in 2013. Don't know about power back to Contact Energy because no invoice since new meters were fitted. Very cloudy days in Auckland lately, need more sunshine! We had expected to save about 50% of our power bill but I doubt if it will be that much, maybe 30-40%. We need another 9 months to confirm that one way or the other. Contact Energy reducing their power buy back to 8c/kWh just after we decided to go solar was disappointing but we had guessed that would happen. There should be a Government minimum that power companies buy power back from customers for, probably about 15c/kWh. As usual the power distributers are ripping us off! The display monitor is excellent and we haven't tired of following the data. BUT the gadget itself is very temperamental and the slightest (and I mean slightest) brush against the power lead turns the monitor off.

Advice: "If you have funds sitting in a bank getting less than 4% interest then get solar asap. The savings on your power bill will far exceed the interest lost."

Irvin, Christchurch, Canterbury

Irvin, Christchurch

Review Date: 09/01/2015

Size: 3kW

Running for: Had 1st power account with meter installed

Comments on the installation: "Great communication and job well done in 3 hours including new switchboard in garage."

Comments on the system performance: "Saved $100 the first month"

Advice: "I was surprised how the power goes up and down when cloudy and sunny."

Graeme, Ohope, Bay Of Plenty

Review Date: 17/12/2014

Size: 4kW

Running for: 15 months

Comments on the installation: "Good".

Comments on the system performance: "Operating to specification. Have yet to pay a bill but have to produce treble what I consume to cover other costs that retailer is adding to the bill - distribution, levies... Eventually had a smart meter installed but I have no access to it. I would like to monitor my consumption. The EnaSolar Inverter (NZ made) is excellent for monitoring production."

Advice: "Add an extra PV panel(s) to cover heating your hot water and avoid installing a separate hot water heating system. Less capital outlay, less equipment."

Gary, Hamilton, Waikato

Review Date: 16/10/2014

Size: 4kW

Running for: 6 weeks

Comments on the installation: "The installers were great, the biggest issue was getting approval from the lines company, this took several weeks and a site inspection by them."

Comments on the system performance: "It has surprised me, it just operates, no need to check, switch or do anything. We have produced over 600 Kw in this time, using 88 % of this. Exporting the other 12%. We have had one power account and reduced our bill by over $100"

Advice: "If they can afford the capital cost, and will be able to use the majority generated, then they should do it."

Katy, Upper Hutt, Wellington

Review Date: 16/10/2014

Size: 5kW

Running for: 4 weeks

Comments on the installation: "The solar installation was so easy. The installers were delayed because of poor weather but kept us informed of their timetable. They worked hard and efficiently. Unfortunately when the meter was changed a fault in the relay upset our use of night time rates for power and this has still not been corrected even after three attempts by the electricians."

Comments on the system performance: "The savings have not come through yet but I am sure they will be useful. The generation of power has been greater than we anticipated considering the issue with shade that we have."

Advice: "Using solar power is great. I am looking forward to when the technology for storing some of the power generated can happen meaning then that everything that is generated from our roof would be used by us. The price the power company pays for the power we generate does not equal the price we have to pay for the power we use from the company. Being self sufficient in generating power and using power would be so good."

Graham, Timaru, Canterbury

Review Date: 10/11/2014

Size: 2kW

Running for: 3 months

Comments on the installation: "They were very efficient and respectful.They only took about 2 and a half hours to instal the panels."

Comments on the system performance: "I presume we have been saving money but Contact energy haven't installed an import/export meter as yet."

Advice: "I was going to install more panels but as Contact energy have reduced the buyback rate I am having second thoughts."

Anthony, Tauranga, Bay Of Plenty

Anthony, Tauranga

Review Date: 27/10/2014

Size: 4kW

Running for: 1.5 months

Comments on the installation: "The installation was done well. It did not take long."

Comments on the system performance: "The system performs very well and many times reaches the full 4 kW. This was the best day so far: 2014-10-24 28.24Kilowatts.The system produces an abundant amount of power. More than I need. It does reduce the power bill, but as of yet, I have not received payment from the power company , other than 2.52 NZD, of the exported power.  I have switched to Contact energy but they still have not approved me as a vendor. And Trust Power did not read the export reading before doing the switch to Contact Energy."

Advice: "Definitely get a monocrystalline system. They do perform better."

Allen, Ashburton, Canterbury

Allen, Ashburton

Review Date: 22/10/2014

Size: 5.1kW

Running for: 3 months

Comments on the installation: "The installation went very well and was completed in 2 1/2 days. The installers did an excellent job and left the property clean and tidy.'

Comments on the system performance: "It has been 2 months since the export meter was installed, since then we have imported 980kw and exported 870 kw. We are more than happy with the performance especially since it was middle of winter to early spring."

Advice: "Power will never be cheaper than it was yesterday so now is the best time to start thinking; my wife and me are pleased we made the decision."

Lorraine, Manukau City, Auckland

Lorraine, Manukau City

Review Date: 15/09/2014

Size: 3.75kW

Running for: 5 days

Comments on the installation: "We used S4Solar to do our installation and had excellent service from them. They took three days to complete the installation and I would recommend them without hesitation."

Comments on the system performance: "Too soon to have a good idea but we're pleased with how it's performing."

Advice: "If you can afford the upfront cost then it's well worth doing both in terms of the long term savings and the environmental benefits."

John, Marlborough

Review Date: 14/09/2014

Size: 4kW

Running for: 1 months

Comments on the installation: "The solar installation was well organised and I was kept fully informed of its progress. The system took two days to install and the installers were very careful during the installation process."

Comments on the system performance: "The performance of the system has been excellent. Even though it is winter and the weather has been poor, I have had excellent power production and I except the bills will be reduced significantly."

Peter, Waikino, Waikato

Peter, Waikino

Review Date: 10/09/2014

Size: 2kW

Running for: 3 months

Comments on the installation: "They were a great bunch of guys they put everything in the right places i was surprised it didnt take long at all."

Comments on the system performance: "The performance so far has been excellent, even produces on the darkest days savings for me have been more than halve, can't wait till the summer months arrive."

Advice: "Go for it if you can afford the money plus long term staying in your own house cant lose."

Karen, Waimakariri , Canterbury

Review Date: 31/08/2014

Size: 5kW

Running for: 1 months

Comments on the installation: "The installers, were respectfull, helpfull and worked quickly and cleanly."

Comments on the system performance: "As yet unknown because although system up and running, it was Contact who didn't "complete" by installing new import /export meter untill begining of the month so have not been able to do comparisons yet."

Advice: "Common sense to do it if you can afford the initial out lay. Power is only going to increase in cost, and I prefer my money in my bank not the power company's."

Allen, Hamilton, Waikato

Allen, Hamilton

Review Date: 24/07/2014

Size: 1.7kW

Running for: 4 months

Comments on the installation: "Installer got in touch after I filled out the form at mysolarquotes. From the time I signed the contact the system was install in 11 days. The installer was very good and no damage to our property. Took the team from 8am to all finish by 2pm."

Comments on the system performance: "Our system runs though our controlled side which runs all but the hot water.  Our usage has dropped from 14 units a day to average of 6 units. In April the extra power export was 84, May 81, June 60 and will exceed 80+ for July. To compare June 13 use was 624 unit, Jun 14 178 units."

Advice: "Good value for money. If my money was in the bank interest will be about $250 for the year compared to a power bill saving of over $600. Systems life is 25 years and power prices are only going to rise and with this installed it gets the priced locked in to approx. 13.5 cents per unit."