Thinking about solar?

We’ve whipped up some FAQs on how solar power works and what’s involved in getting it at your place, to help decide if it’s right for you.

If you decide to go ahead, we’ve got a great deal for Electric Kiwi customers from our friends at ZEN Energy.

Special offer

EK Customers get up to a $1,350 discount when buying a solar system through ZEN. Receive $750 discount from ZEN Energy on any Redback system purchase. Enjoy $600 cashback from Redback Technologies for any battery-based system sold under the campaign.

Pair with our MoveMaster plan and get an epic 12.5c/kWh solar buyback rate.

T&Cs apply

Why ZEN?

ZEN is a family-owned, Kiwi business offering solar panels and systems built using the latest in solar technology.

We don’t receive any commission or kickbacks, we’ve just sourced an awesome offer for those who want to play their part in the green transition.

Solar FAQs

Solar energy is generated by the sun. This energy is captured and turned into usable electricity to help power your home.

Solar panels are made of conductive materials. The panels absorb sunlight with photovoltaic cells which create direct current (DC) electricity. Through an inverter the DC energy is then converted to usable alternating current (AC) energy. AC energy flows through the home’s electrical panel and is distributed accordingly.

If you’re considering installing a solar system, it’s important to understand how much money you could save, based on how much you are currently spending on electricity. It’s possible to drastically reduce your power bill with solar, but every household is different.

Here are a few steps to run through:

  • Size up your roof and direction the panels will be facing. Size, age and pitch of your roof are important details when considering solar panels. There are helpful online tools you can use to assess the viability of your home for solar such as the EECA Energywise Solar tool.

  • Shop around for the best solar installation deal and ensure you’re installing the best size system for your property. The largest system might sound appealing but may not be the best economic decision in the long run. Remember, EK customers get mate’s rates at ZEN Energy when you buy a new solar system.

  • Look into your electricity options. All our plans are solar friendly, and our MoveMaster plan has an epic 12.5c/kWh solar buyback.

  • The installation and setup of a solar system requires an upfront investment, but the payoff can be high. You can also significantly reduce your carbon output with solar. Solar power is a renewable resource and produces zero carbon emissions while in operation.

The price of solar panels in New Zealand has decreased significantly in recent years, making it a more affordable option for homeowners. Rooftop solar is a smart choice for virtually any Kiwi home with an unshaded roof and some daytime electricity usage. The payback time for most solar systems is between five to seven years but that depends on several factors including available sunlight, panel position, electricity prices, the cost of the system and the amount of self-consumption.

Self-consumption is key to getting the most out of a solar system these days. This means using as much of the energy produced by the panels as possible directly within your home. Self-consuming solar energy helps avoid purchasing power from the grid.

This question was prominent at the beginning of the solar revolution, however with modern panels failure rate is extremely low and most reliable manufacturers provide a power output warranty with their systems. That said, solar panels will generally deteriorate and become a little less effective over time, so you’ll need to upgrade at some point in the future, but this would be at least 25 years away.

Solar panels need unobstructed access to the sun’s UV rays to operate at their full potential. Therefore, solar panels will still generate some electricity on overcast, rainy days – but it will be more limited compared to sunny days. If you track the power that your solar panels produce, you’ll really see the difference between cloudy and sunny days.

No, solar panels are usually not difficult to maintain as they’re designed for the outdoors and made to withstand any type of weather. However, they’ll need an annual clean to ensure that dirt, leaves and animal droppings aren’t obstructing their effectiveness.