In the winter of 1990, New Zealand experienced a rate of inflation that would remain unbeaten for decades. At 7.6%, the inflation was remarkably high.
While we were hoping that NZ does not see such numbers again, Stats New Zealand recently shared some alarming news. In June 2022, 32 years after the previous peak, New Zealand’s inflation stands at a staggering 7.3%.
There has been plenty of discussion on the factors causing this inflation - from natural disasters to war. So we won’t pour in more opinions on the topic. We’ll instead focus on what we know best, and what we know for sure - we’ll analyze if solar is a good tool to fight inflation.
Can You Fight Inflation With Solar Power?
According to the International Monetary Fund, inflation is the measure of how much more expensive a set of goods and services has become over a certain period, usually a year. Although inflation affects broadly everything, it hurts most for repeating expenses. For instance, paying for gas, rent, or electricity bills is where inflation can be the most noticeable.
Speaking of electricity bills, this is where solar comes in. But let’s look at New Zealand’s electricity pricing trend first.
Problems With Grid Electricity
In August 2021, Stats New Zealand reported that prices of gas and electricity had shot up by 17%. About a year later, in April 2022, several Aucklanders started receiving notifications from their utility company about a price rise. In many areas, fixed-line charges were increased from $0.33 to $0.66, causing an annual increase of $120 in bills. The users whom this change hit the hardest were those who used low electricity - ironic but true.
Following this change, 1 News published a story about how several Kiwis struggled to pay their electricity bills. For many residents, the price rise crossed the dreaded $1,000-mark.
But it’s not just long-term trends that are worrisome. New Zealand’s spot pricing system can often be unpredictable. In 2018, low hydro lake levels and a pipeline leak caused the prices to shoot through the roof. Some consumers had to pay as high as $174 for a week of moderate power consumption.
NZ Electricity Price Rise In 2018
Another problem with the nation’s electricity pricing is the uneven costs throughout the country. Worse - people with lower incomes and lower consumption are often paying higher for using the same amount of power. Here’s a map showing the disparity between household incomes and power prices.
Relation between household incomes and area power prices (source - Consumer.org)
The moral of these stories is that electricity prices seldom go down, and that they aren’t always fair. And that is why solar power is so incredible - it is the great equalizer!
How Solar Can Fight Grid Power Flaws - and Inflation
Firstly, the most basic, undebatable truth - sunlight is free! The sun would not send you a letter asking you to pay an extra $120 to help it upgrade its infrastructure. The only expenditure in going solar is the initial investment in purchasing the equipment.
And the price of solar equipment has also fallen over the years. You can check out how much solar would cost you in our excellent solar calculator. Besides the equipment costs, there are no surprise costs with solar, and everything is predictable.
Secondly, solar power is simple - it is neither complex, nor unfair. Except for some scarcely populated areas, the whole of New Zealand enjoys excellent solar radiation.
New Zealand Solar Potential (source: Solargis)
Thirdly, solar power systems last seriously long - often more than 30 years. So even if you are not concerned about a $20 price rise in grid power over a few months, that number inflates over 30 years, cumulatively adding up to thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of dollars.
Additionally, solar systems save so much money that they pay themselves off in just a few years - saving you loads over the remainder of the 3 decades. It is difficult to find another investment with such low risk yet guaranteed high returns.
That’s not all. Solar also offers other perks. For instance, solar power can protect homes from power outages. In fact, solar can provides resilience against blackouts. And of course, there are wonderful ecological benefits in going solar too.
In addition to all that, homes with solar systems are also proven to have a higher sale value according to multiple studies.
Whether you follow economy-related news or not, one thing is for sure - the word inflation does not sound comforting. Unfortunately, the nation as well as the world right now are looking at a looming inflation, and even if it ends, there will probably be more economic ups and downs in the future.
But when it comes to fighting inflation, solar power proves itself to be a fantastic option. Solar equipment lasts for decades, and there is no question of price hike, thanks to free sunlight.
Thankfully, the cost of solar power has also dropped significantly in recent years. Combined with low or zero-interest loans offered by several NZ banks, going solar is easier than ever.
Ready to go solar? Take the first step and get 3 free quotes to start comparing options.