Grid-connected or a grid-tier solar system is a great option! Your home can draw electricity from the grid if there isn’t enough power being generated by the solar panels or stored in the solar batteries (if applicable).
A grid-connected or grid-tied solar system is connected to the electrical power grid (mains power). Any electricity produced by a grid-connected system but not needed by your house (or solar batteries) is simply exported back to the grid, and purchased by your electricity retailer by the kWh (kilowatt-hour) at a set price (buyback rate). The buyback rate differs across retailers but is generally between 7c and 12.5c per kWh. Check with your retailer to confirm your rate.
It all depends if you have solar batteries and how much solar you have stored in your batteries at the time of the power outage.
Many solar customers assume that if the sun is shining they will still have electricity when there is a power outage. Unfortunately, this only applies if you have some way of storing the electricity (with a battery).
In the event of a power cut/blackout, a typical grid-tied system has a special automatic shut-off in order to prevent that extra energy from being sent over possibly-damaged power lines. It’s a safety feature intended to protect the line workers who go out to fix things when they break. And yes, this means solar panels alone will not work during a power outage.
When you add a battery backup to your solar PV system, your lights stay on even when your neighbors are out. There are many benefits of a back up battery but one major benefit is that you will still have back up power for your ‘essential loads’ like fridge, some lights and some charging for mobile phone and laptop. The amount of solar power you have available for your essential loads, depends on how much battery storage you have at the time of the power outage.
Every household is different. We aim to save you the maximum amount possible – this depends on a few factors:
– your current & future power consumption needs (kWh),
– when you mainly use your power (day time or evenings),
– how many solar panels we can fit on your roof,
– if your budget allows for battery storage.
For a customised quote and advice on how much you could save on your power bill, get in touch with our team.
In our opinion, the short answer is no. Your solar is worth more being stored and used from a battery then it is sending it back to the power grid.
Let us explain: Solar buy-back rates across New Zealand typically ranges from 8c – 18c per kWh, compared to electricity rates of around 30c per kWh.
With those numbers, we always recommend our customers consider battery storage to maximise on their investment. That way you’re using your own stored solar energy instead of exporting it and buying power back in when you need it.