What do you do with Solar Panels and Batteries at the end of life?
When our batteries are no longer suitable for residential use, Panasonic takes them back and repurposes them for use in UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) systems for commercial use. Once they reach the end of usable life, Panasonic takes care of its recycling.
Solar Panels often perform for 20-40+ years; at the end of the 20-year agreement, customers can decide to extend their energy service agreement for a further five years, or we will remove them.
What Sort of Technical Support does SolarZero Offer?
Can I really have solar installed on my home without buying the panels and the battery?
Yes, you can. Qualifying solarZero customers can secure guaranteed savings and backup power via a monthly renewable energy subscription service. There are no hardware or finance costs.
How does solarZero make money?
We make our income from the monthly subscription fees we earn from our solarZero customers. We also earn money from lines company for helping to keep the lights on in communities during peak demand and electrical “events”. However, the money we receive from Aurora we have predominately directed back to our customers by installing additional battery capacity.
Do you offer solarZero subscription services for commercial premises?
Currently, for selected sites only such as government buildings, aged care, schools and large warehouses, the agreement needs to be with the building owner and is for 20 years. Contact Scott Kiddey at 021 0858 0080. He is the Territory Manager for the Southern Lakes/Central Otago region, and he will connect you with the best person to support you within the commercial team. And will be your local support person throughout.
Do you offer solarZero subscription services for Schools?
What happens when Aurora Energy draws on the solarZero battery?
Aurora Energy anticipates that approximately five-ten days per year, the power network will be under stress. To avoid the potential for community-wide power cuts on those days, they will instruct the solarZero smart battery to help support the power system. On these days, the batteries will be kept fully charged, and if needed, the batteries will be called upon to discharge. First, to support the power needs of the solarZero homeowner, any additional power remaining in the battery will be released back to the grid to support the broader community, leaving at least 10% emergency power for the homeowner in case there is a blackout. The homeowner will be paid for any energy discharged back into the grid.
Why has solarZero decided to participate in “Peak Demand Management” with Aurora Energy?
solarZero’s reason for being in business is to make a big difference in the fight against climate change. Our goal is to remove New Zealand's reliance on fossil fuels.
If we demonstrate to traditional grid companies the benefits of solar and battery power to their grid, we can radically speed up the decarbonisation of our electrical and transport networks. Supporting a brighter, cleaner future for all New Zealanders.
solarZero is uniquely positioned to fulfil this role as we centrally manage more than 10,000 smart batteries nationwide.
Aurora Energy is paying us a fee for enabling the solarZero batteries to participate in Peak Demand Management. The fee we have received we have channeled mainly back to our customers providing additional battery capacity for all participating customers.
What does the subscription fee pay for?
Unlimited access to all solar power produced from the solar panels for the next 20 years; use of the solarZero smart battery*, including during blackouts, 24/7 system monitoring, and access to Time-Of-Use Power pricing, which enables us to use the battery to maximise your annual savings. We actively manage your battery during a large weather event to ensure you have the maximum available energy to use where you need it most.
*Qualifying Aurora Customers in Wanaka, Lake Hawea, Hawea Township, Luggate and Cardrona receive an additional battery installed in their homes to support “Peak Demand Management” in the area. Up to 10 days a year, Aurora Energy will step in and get the solarZero customer to use battery power rather than grid power to reduce the overall load on the grid and to keep the lights on across the region.
How much can I expect to save when I go solar?
Our Solar Specialists will work with you to determine how much you can expect to save on your monthly energy bill. This relies on factors like the current energy retailer you get your power from, how much electricity you use, and how much sunlight your home gets during the day. We’ll only recommend solar if it’s the right fit for your home energy needs and lifestyle.
Is my home good for solar?
Figuring out if your home is good for solar relies on several factors, like where your house is located, the angle of your roof, roof shading, roof type and age/condition of the roof.
To understand if your home is suitable for solar, contact one of our Solar Advisors. They’ll run a personalised analysis of your home and work with a solar engineer to do an initial virtual assessment. If you progress to agreement signing, a solar installer will come to your home before installation day to refine plans if needed.
How many solar panels will my home need?
We will determine this during your consultation. This will be based on your home's location, orientation, roof pitch, roof size and household energy needs.
What happens if my system breaks or isn’t working as expected?
With a solarZero subscription, you’ll enjoy daily monitoring from our experienced Fleet Management Team. They oversee all solarZero systems, so if something happens or performance dips, they will either fix the problem remotely or arrange for our local expert team to fix the problem. Every case is different, but we generally reimburse you for any lost benefits during this period.
What happens if I decide to move?
We get it. Life is all about change. SolarZero makes it easy to transfer your solar/renewable energy subscription to new homeowners. Our Loyalty Team handle everything from educating real estate agents and potential buyers, home inspectors, and anyone else who might need to know about your solar subscription agreement to help make your move as smooth as possible.
Will the product be covered by warranty?
Your monthly subscription covers 24/7 monitoring and ongoing repairs and product replacements, including in the event of a fire, flood, earthquake or anything really. (except deliberate malice).
What happens after I have Signed the Agreement?
Once you’ve signed your solarZero Energy Services agreement, our installation team can confirm the design created by our solar sales engineers and discuss the installation process.
After that, we will make any necessary adjustments to your system design and get your final approval. Once approved, your Project Coordinator will book your solarZero installation date and onboard you to our partner energy retailer.
We will aim to install your system within four weeks post-agreement signing.
When your installation is complete, we will then book your meter change and inspection with a local meter hanging and inspection company. This takes 2-3 weeks to complete. The inspector will turn on the solar system, and from this day, your home will have full access to the power generated and stored at your place.
Our team will then monitor your system closely for 48 hours to ensure everything is working as it should be, and carry out our own remote testing. We will then email you to confirm the official start of your solarZero subscription service.
Who can participate?
Aurora Energy customers in Wānaka, Tarras, Lake Hawea, Hawea Township, Luggate, and Cardrona and surrounding areas. Including homes, schools and other Government-owned buildings.
Postcodes: 9305, 9382, 9383 and some areas of 9384
Will Aurora Energy drain the smart battery?
No. Their first priority is to get solarZero customers to use their stored energy to support their own power needs; then, if there is further available energy, they will draw that from the smart battery to support the broader community. The customer will be credited 15c/kWh* for any energy exported into the grid from the battery; it will appear on your bill from your retailer (Ecotricity or Pulse Energy). *current rate at the time of publishing check with your solar specialist.
The smart battery will always ensure there is 10% available to use if Aurora Energy is unsuccessful in avoiding a power cut. And the battery will be refilled from solar electricity throughout the power cut for you to use.
What about the impacts of salt water and humidity?
We warrant the product for 20 years and will replace products whose structural integrity has been impacted by rust. We use anodised roof fittings, whereas many other solar companies use "mill finish" rails and fittings. Anodised framing costs a wee bit more but protects the framing system due to the "satin clear" coating applied via an electrolytic process which increases corrosion resistance. We also use Class 5 screws which offer the highest level of corrosion resistance. Standard screws supplied by framing manufacturers are typically Class 3, NZ code calls for class 4 in "sea spray" areas, and we go one better (to the very best available) with Class 5.
I understand the angle of the solar system is critical, do you optimise the angle for our area?
Roof angle does impact solar production, as does, roof direction, and your location. Our solar engineers will design the solar system that works with your roof angle, aspect and power needs.
What happens when technology improves? How often is the equipment upgraded?
Sustainability is at the heart of the company, and our brand promises we select and install products that we know will deliver outstanding results over the long term.
Just as you don’t throw out your oven every year or even every 5 years, we utilise our equipment until it is impacting on our solarZero Guarantees. Which are: Product, Performance and Annual Savings for the next 20 years. Batteries/Inverters/Solar Controllers/Solar Monitors all will be replaced over that 20-year period at least once during that period all at no cost to you.
What do no hardware costs mean, now or in the future?
We pay for the solar panels, battery, inverter, two-way meter and any other “kit associated with the solar system” We also pay for repairs, faults, and breakages, including from natural disasters, and replace products that are no longer delivering the benefits set out in our agreement to you.
Exactly what is included in the Subscription Fee?
Aurora customers in Upper Clutha:
(If you are part of Aurora may draw on your batteries 5-10 days a year to keep the lights on for the entire community)
The remainder of the Central Otago
^ If you use reticulated or bottled gas in the home, you may still qualify to become a solarZero customer. However, your grid & bottled energy will not be 100% renewable or Toitu climate positive certified.
How much is the subscription fee?
The subscription fee price ranges from $95 - $180 per month +GST and will equate to 75% of your energy costs. This price is fixed, no other energy provider is guaranteeing to fix the price of 75% of your electricity.
How do you guarantee cheaper electricity for the next 20 years?
The essence of the solarZero energy service is our cost structures are underpinned by generating renewable electricity where it is being used. The sun is not charging us a generation fee, and we are not transporting power around the country therefore, our costs for up to 75% of our energy service are known and well understood.
For the remaining 25%, we switch you to a Time of Use lines charge plan and then actively use the battery to ensure you are using the cheapest rates possible. We also ensure that grid energy is used at the lowest cost times, 24/7, allowing us to provide a price-protected energy price that is less than 50% of the national average energy price. We add no margin to the energy price and lines charges that we pass through to the customer, so customers are effectively enjoying wholesale energy rates.
For these reasons, we can deliver you cheaper electricity rates now and for the next 20 years. Cheaper energy from our 100% renewable energy platform delivers our Guaranteed Annual Savings
Why is it a 20-year subscription?
A big reason we can guarantee lower prices for electricity for 20 years is that we harness the sun's power. Solar panels last for well over 20 years; it would be environmentally irresponsible to offer a service where panels were removed before we have maximised their usefulness.
This enables us to lock in 80% of your energy costs at a cheaper rate than you can purchase from an electricity retailer. Because the sun doesn’t charge per kW and we are not moving electricity around the country.
Finally, we shoulder all debt relating to the solar hardware and have a fleet of solar engineers, electricity specialists, and technicians on staff; 20 years is also how long we need to generate the profit our shareholders require.
How are the nominees selected?
We know there are many incredible community and sporting groups in Wānaka, Hāwea and Luggate and we’d love to see all of them enjoy the benefits of solar energy. The final nominees included in the Solar Futures campaign have been selected based on a number of factors, including the size of their power bills, their roof type, suitability for solar, and the owner’s/tenant’s willingness to take part.
If our community group is unsuccessful can we pay for a solarZero subscription?
Currently, no. solarZero subscriptions are limited to homeowners, schools, and Government departments, as our subscription service is designed for property owners looking to stay in their property for the long term. We do offer an exceptional referral programme where community groups can earn thousands of dollars, to use any way they choose, e.g. towards a solar system, power bills, or sports equipment. This is called our Community Referral Programme, read more about it below.
What is the Community Referral Programme?
The solarZero Community Referral Programme encourages everyone in our communities to work together to save on power costs, create a more robust energy network, and support local communities.
Any community group can contact Scott Kiddey our Central Otago Territory Manager scott.kiddey@solarZero.co.nz and register to be a part of the Community Referral Programme. Once registered, your club or group will receive promotional material to share with members. If members register interest in solarZero using the community group's dedicated referral code, once they are an installed solarZero customer, the community group receives $1,000 cash. solarZero will donate $1,000 for every installed solarZero customer who has used your referral code.
Who is a solarZero subscription suitable for?
Currently solarZero is ideal for homeowners, schools, and Government departments. It is a great way to access solar power, battery storage and a team of smart energy specialists to deliver you cheaper, cleaner more reliable power without needing to pay for the hardware. To find out if solar is right for you, contact us today.