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?


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."

Alan, New Plymouth, Taranaki

Alan, New Plymouth

Review Date: 09/07/2014

Size: 2.5kW

Running for: 3 months

Comments on the installation: "Great, not problems efficient and friendly."

Comments on the system performance: "Going into winter you wouldn't expect too much but it has been better than I expected and power bills are way down."

Advice: "Solar will only get cheaper and power will get dearer so I think Iam onto a winner here."

Hans, Hastings, Hawkes Bay

Hans, Hastings

Review Date: 09/07/2014

Size: 10kW

Running for: 7 months

Comments on the installation: "The installation went as planned. Friendly installers, good communication etc."

Comments on the system performance: "The system performs as planned; we are rural and definitely saving a lot on our power bills; we may become power bill 'neutral' after a year."

Advice: "For us, this was an excellent investment. Power is an expense that keeps coming back, year-after-year. We simply enjoy seeing how the system is performing."

Neil, Timaru, Canterbury

Review Date: 30/06/2014

Size: 3.2kW

Running for: 9 months

Comments on the installation: "Very good installers. Installers placed cardboard on the lawn so it would not cut up and carpet on the roof where they were walking over and working on. The intial installation took 2 days.  Had to wait for the Lines Company to sign it off."

Comments on the system performance: "Very pleased with its performance. Currently my export total is 1999 KWHs and import total is 2171 KWHs You need to take account the poor weather we have had here in Timaru over the past 2 months. We only have a heatpump for heating.  At the end of April import total 1195 KWHs was and the export total was 1889 KWHs. I went into this looking for a return of more that 4.5% on my orginal investment of $12500, not what the pay back term would be!"

Robin,, Wellington

Review Date: 28/06/2014

Size: 2kW

Running for: 3 months

Comments on the installation: "The installation was straightforward and completed in less than a day.  No problems with the equipment so far. The installer was very helpful and prompt to reply to any queries I had."

Comments on the system performance: "The performance has been expected. Installing it during Autumn is not the best time of year but even on a clear day the output has been approx. 7-8kWh. In summer with a higher sun and longer daylight the output I estimate will be nearer 16kWh.  Savings on average are 30 to 40% lower bills."

Advice: "There are lots of factors to consider when choosing to go solar or not. The most important factor is whether your lifestyle can support you using as much electricity during the day generated from your panels.  The payback period can vary markedly depending on the cost of installation, your current electricity plan and your lifestyle so I encourage people to do some analysis before deciding to go solar."

Aaron, Waikato, Waikato

Review Date: 27/06/2014

Size: 2.88kW

Running for: 1 year

Comments on the installation: "The solar panel company were great in everyway. Professional and left nothing at the site except a way to make power."

Comments on the system performance: "It performs as well as I thought, it is my second solar system, first was in japan ..2nd in nz.  One difference was in japan you had place to plug in power in a power cut, they need these in nz.  We are only paying about 35-50$ for electricity 2 adults 2 children."

Advice: "Every house that can affoard to get solar has a responsibility to help save the earth.  NZ is not a green country, but we as consumers can make it green, go solar people go solar."

Alison, Hamilton, Waikato

Review Date: 27/06/2014

Size: 3kW

Running for: 2.5 months

Comments on the installation: "Took half a day as they had not factored in that they would have to trench for about a meter."

Comments on the system performance: "Bit hard to tell in 2 1/2 months of very wet weather but have contributed 195 kW hrs to the grid. I have not seen an itemised bill in that whole time from my power and gas provider, Contact. The power and gas bill combined for 2 months with 22% discount was about $200 (which is not measurable in terms of kW hrs.) Contact Energy has a low daily charge and a higher "Low user" cut off point but their billing system is in disarray at the moment. They also have a dual fuel discount of 22% hence the low recent non bill."

Blair, Franklin , Auckland

Review Date: 26/06/2014

Size: 2kW

Running for: 3 weeks

Comments on the installation: "Installation of the system took one day.  It was pleasant experience, with the electrician, being polite, cheerful & respectful."

Comments on the system performance: "Whilst the weather has been more overcast than normal, the system is producing power at times more than expected in the winter months."

Keith & Ako, Marlborough

Keith & Ako

Review Date: 26/06/2014

Size: 2kW

Running for: 3 weeks

Comments on the installation: "Installation of the system took one day.  It was pleasant experience, with the electrician, being polite, cheerful & respectful."

Comments on the system performance: "Whilst the weather has been more overcast than normal, the system is producing power at times more than expected in the winter months."

Advice: 2kW

Callan, Matamata-Piako, Waikato

Review Date: 25/06/2014

Size: 4kW

Running for: 8 months

Comments on the installation: "Excellent communication and no hassles with instal - we were having a renovation done at the same time and they fitted in easily. Was only a few days - the panels on the roof and then hooking up the electrics with our sparky."

Comments on the system performance: "About what was expected in summer but less than we had hoped in winter. Power bills which had averaged $240pm across the year were little or nothing but are now up to $100"

Advice: "Look at how you use power and where possible use it during the day when it is likely to be free. We also put in a hot water heat pump which only runs between 10am and 2pm - heating a 300l tank which gets us through all day and night. Use timers if you aren't around during the day to turn on dishwashers, washing machines. etc."

Howard, Auckland

Review Date: 25/06/2014

Size: 4kW

Running for: 8 months

Comments on the installation: "Excellent communication and no hassles with instal - we were having a renovation done at the same time and they fitted in easily. Was only a few days - the panels on the roof and then hooking up the electrics with our sparky."

Comments on the system performance: "About what was expected in summer but less than we had hoped in winter. Power bills which had averaged $240pm across the year were little or nothing but are now up to $100"

Advice: "Look at how you use power and where possible use it during the day when it is likely to be free. We also put in a hot water heat pump which only runs between 10am and 2pm - heating a 300l tank which gets us through all day and night. Use timers if you aren't around during the day to turn on dishwashers, washing machines. etc."

John, Rodney , Auckland

Review Date: 25/06/2014

Size: 2kW

Running for: 7 months

Comments on the installation: "Installers were good. Approx 3 weeks delay while ordering parts. Then one day to install."

Comments on the system performance: "It appears to be performing well, but difficult to detirmine savings. Billing system has been based on estimates, based on estimates to the point of absolute cofusion and disbelief. [ I think they must use Lotto to fix there estimated readings !!!!] In an admission that they could not understand there own accounts, Meridian have now cancelled all previous "Accounts" and are starting again from November of last year. Trying to get an answer was, in the extreme, frustrating. The information call line, is difficcult to access, and appears to be staffed by people not equipped to give advice. Hopefully Meridian have now got things sorted

Advice: "In an act of frustration I cotacted Contact Energy. The information they provided was all by email, and again difficult to understand. No one was available to discuss my questions.  If we are to expand the use of solar, it is vitally important that these companies must be required to present information and accounts that are simple to interpret and understand."

Fred & Pauline, Rodney , Auckland

Review Date: 25/06/2014

Size: 2kW

Running for: 6 months

Comments on the installation: "A painless process, the installers were very respectful of our property, asking our opinion and agreement with aspects of the installation before going ahead."

Comments on the system performance: "Really good, in the summer months it saved us about $50 per month, probably about half that in the winter months."

Advice: "If you have the money in your bank, use it to install a solar system, it gives a better return than the bank interest. Borrowing money to install solar panels might not be so economic."

Walter, North Shore , Auckland

Review Date: 25/06/2014

Size: 2kW

Running for: 6 months

Comments on the installation: "A painless process, the installers were very respectful of our property, asking our opinion and agreement with aspects of the installation before going ahead."

Comments on the system performance: "Really good, in the summer months it saved us about $50 per month, probably about half that in the winter months."

Advice: "If you have the money in your bank, use it to install a solar system, it gives a better return than the bank interest. Borrowing money to install solar panels might not be so economic."

Phil, Rodney , Auckland

Review Date: 25/06/2014

Size: 2kW

Running for: 10 months

Comments on the installation: "The installers Sky Solar were very good . time to install about 2 days maybe 3. I recommended them to my to my brother Mike who has since had a 3 kw system installed."

Comments on the system performance: "Performance is good, more than enough for my needs, I am the only one in the house so far my power bill is showing credit".

Advice: "Better than most investments. I recommend it to any one that can afford it and has suitable roof aspect for the panels."