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?

clifford, Rodney, Auckland

Review Date: 12/06/2020

Size: 4.6 kW

Running for: 2 weeks

Expected return on investment: have not calculated yet

Expected pay back period: This was not a reason for installing the use of savings to enhance the value of our home was.

Comments on the installation: "Quite good though we had one callback to improved tie down of panels on a very exposed roof. However it took 2 weeks for an electrical inspector to sign system off."

Comments on the system performance: "looks good so far but no power bills yet."

Advice: "Very good. Today with an overcast sky and watery winter sunshine we were generating 1.8 kW. Because of the location of our house it is very difficult for me to take a good photo. I will try and get one of my Grandsons to do it sometime."

John, North Shore City, Auckland

Review Date: 23/08/2019

Size: 3kW, 10 panels, no batteries

Running for: 11 weeks

Expected return on investment: 5% ? Not an investment but better use of my money as a one-off than going into ever increasing power costs.

Expected pay back period: 5-6 years

Comments on the installation: "No hassles, great job and went quickly and well, taking half a day. Water heater iBoost clamp meter fitted to wrong cable so no saving shown on hot water until rectified by Engineer when queried weeks later. The company Solar Engineer has been very helpful and was fixed day after complaint. Estimated compensation provided so no real loss. Some weeks delay from panel installation and fast inspection (on the next Saturday) to activation because power company did not advise that the new import/export meter had been fitted. The supplier was the middle cost of the three quotes and all otherwise extra charges (new meter supply and installation, iBoost hot water controller, web-site monitoring, and best buy-back commercial rate?) were included. It is also one of the large retail power companies so is likely to still be around for any future maintenance or issues."

Comments on the system performance: "Performance okay but less saving than expected, though it presently is autumn/winter so expecting improvements. It is fortunate that we are home during daylight hours to get max benefit. Handy analytic website shows about 200kW savings per month so far. It is hard to estimate dollar saving yet as the new power prices had just kicked in at the same time with a new contract so can't easily compare before and after. This was the main reason for looking into solar to reduce future price hikes. Winter has early afternoon panel shading that drastically reduces output (as expected)."

Advice: "Not much benefit without battery backup in a working household where power is not used much during daylight generating hours except for water heating. Would need to setup a battery charging system to provide night power. Daytime solar would go the water heating and battery charging. Would recommend fitting an 'iBoost' or similar hot water controller that only diverts power to the cylinder when in excess, but can also provide programmed or manual grid supply top-up if needed."

Sandamali, Waitakere City, Auckland

Review Date: 19/05/2019

Size: 3kw

Running for: 6 weeks

Expected return on investment: 10%

Expected pay back period: 11 years

Comments on the installation: "It took them a few tries to get everything right and deliver what had been agreed on. Wish it had been more streamlined and didn't require so much toing and froing. "

Comments on the system performance: "System is not producing more than 2.6kw at any given time even when it is at the most sunniest. I know it is autumn, so waiting to get a full years worth of data before deciding something is wrong. I am saving about $40 per month of my $150 power bill. It requires a lot of thinking and planning to maximise day time usage. "

Advice: "Do you research and don't believe what the solar companies tell you. A consumption monitoring system is a must and try to go for a good brand of panel and inverter. Get quotes from different companies and figure out the differences in what they recommend and learn from it. I ended up combining the best of all the systems recommended and finding a company that would deliver it. It did mean that my installer didn't have much experience in the brand of inverter I wanted, so I had to figure out how to make things work on my own from where they left. off. The installers aren't used to being challenged, but do it anyway. The more you learn about solar, the better off you would be. Solar is not worth getting if you are not on electric for everything in your home, including heating and hot water. A hot water diverter instead of a timer is a worthwhile investment. "

Shirley, Manukau City, Auckland

Review Date: 29/01/2019

Size: 5kw

Running for: 4 months

Expected pay back period: 8-9 yrs

Comments on the installation: "Very well organised, very careful, very courteous and all up and running in 2 days."

Comments on the system performance: "Better than expected. Power bill more than halved despite having an electric car."

Advice: "Many houses get plenty of sun and folk think nothing of spending thousands on refurbishing, holidays or vehicles. why not solar power?"

Trevor, Franklin, Auckland

Review Date: 08/01/2019

Size: 4.4kw

Running for: As a 2.2kw for 2 years. 4.4kw since 10/10/2018

Expected return on investment: About 10% per year.

Expected pay back period: 10 years

Comments on the installation: "Excellent. They were considerate and helpful."

Comments on the system performance: "As we had indicated by the installers. Power account currently in credit because of rebates. $50 - $100 less per month so far."

Advice: "If you have a north facing roof - go for it!"

Doug , Franklin, Auckland


Review Date: 21/03/2018

Size: 3.6kW

Running for: 6 weeks

Expected return on investment: Cost $8.5k, expect payoff in <5 years

Expected pay back period: 5 years

Comments on the installation: "Yes, took great care. One day to install."

Comments on the system performance: "Last power bill was $1. Unbelievable!"

Advice: "I should have installed 20 panels rather than 12. Would have cost $2500 extra but would be money well spent."

Susan, Manukau City, Auckland

Review Date: 10/01/2018

Size: 2.7kW

Running for: 2 months

Expected pay back period: 10 years

Comments on the installation: "So easy. One day and all done. No mess. No fuss. "

Comments on the system performance: "Perfect time to install for the good weather at beginning of summer. We have saved about $100 per month. 1/3 if our bill. But it is summer in Auckland, won't be so good when it rains."

Advice: "Very happy with the results so far. Nice to be able to see what the solar is doing. Make sure you move your electric hot water to heating after 10am, and get maximum benefits from those sun rays. "

Graeme , Auckland City, Auckland

Review Date: 23/11/2017

Size: 4.5

Running for: 3 months

Expected return on investment: 10%

Expected pay back period: 12-15

Comments on the installation: "Very respectful, very clear presentations"

Comments on the system performance: "Saving nearly 50% at presnet"

Advice: "The company I selected dropped the price 20% when a competitor gave me a better price. Pretty disconcerting!"

Malcolm, Auckland City, Auckland

Review Date: 20/10/2017

Size: 3kW

Running for: 3.5mth

Expected return on investment: not important

Expected pay back period: not important

Comments on the installation: "install was earlier than expected. Everything went up very quickly. Minor issue with monitoring wiring sorted at a later date. Had to wait nearly 2 weeks for sign off etc."

Comments on the system performance: "System produces power but saving occur mainly on weekend as normally not at home when full sun is available. Extra is exported at present."

Mickie, Manukau City, Auckland

Review Date: 06/09/2017

Size: 5kW

Running for: 1 month

Expected return on investment: zero

Comments on the installation: "The installers did a great job and sure they look after my property. It took them one day for installation but took 3 week for the inspector to signed off the system"

Comments on the system performance: "The solar power unit performed very well but it broke down after a month & now waiting for a replacement"

Advice: "Is a great investment. "

La Mea , Franklin, Auckland

Review Date: 29/05/2017

Size: 5kw

Running for: 2 months

Expected return on investment: not sure

Expected pay back period: 10 years

Comments on the installation: "Found them on the internet. The guys were very pleasant and mindful of our property. You could not wish for nicer guys."

Comments on the system performance: "The solar has been producing between 6 and 21 kws a day depending on the weather. We saved $100 on our first power bill."

Advice: "It is the best thing we could have done."

James, Rodney, Auckland


Review Date: 11/05/2017

Size: 5kw

Running for: Two weeks

Expected return on investment: Greater than 50%

Expected pay back period: 8yrs

Comments on the installation: "Excellent service, very helpful."

Comments on the system performance: "To early to tell but seems to generating well."

Advice: "Think seriously about installing a solar panel system. "

Tim, Auckland

Review Date: 27/11/2016

Size: 2 kW

Running for: 2 Months

Comments on the installation: "Very quick and easy installation."

Comments on the system performance: "The performance of my system as been outstanding. My power bill has dropped from $260 a month to just $95 for last month."

Advice: "It is a great investment - really worth having."

Bill, Manukau City, Auckland

Bill, Manukau City

Review Date: 26/02/2016

Size: 2 kW

Running for: 1 months

Comments on the installation: "No problem with PVSolar, In spite of a partnership breakdown they completed the job. Took a little longer however the Christmas break came in the middle of the installation and that accounted for some of the delay."

Comments on the system performance: "The system seems to be producing consistent 8-10 kwh per day at present (Summer in Auckland). Have had only one power bill so far from Mercury for half of January- 173Kwh $47.54 as apposed to 173Kwh whole of January 2015 at $55.33.Non- discounted . So looking like a 8.6% saving."

Advice: "While the short term benefit may not look attractive, over time this has to be a better option than paying ever increasing electricity tarriffs."

Sanjay, Papakura, Auckland, Auckland

Review Date: 08/02/2016

Size: 2.5 kW

Running for: 3 months

Comments on the installation: "My Solar was installed and commissioned by "World Solar" and the company gave me a great customer experience. The installers were very competent, qualified and efficient. The Project Manager was very friendly and approachable. He responded promptly to any queries or concerns. He was available in the weekends as well. World Solar went an extra-mile in helping me negotiate an Import-Export Meter from my electricity supplier. I am very thankful to this Company."

Comments on the system performance: "The Solar has made a significant difference in my Power Bill and I am happy about making the choice of having Solar to top up my electricity supply."

Advice: "Solar System is an investment that will provide savings to a household in a long run. In addition to this, Solar adds value to your House."

Sandra, Rodney, Auckland

Review Date: 26/11/2015

Size: 4 kW

Running for: 7 weeks

Comments on the installation: "Great. Installers were considerate and made sure we were happy with each part of the installation especially the placement of the inverter."

Comments on the system performance: "Yes performance great. Amazed that on some days we were producing more than 4 kW. Since installation early October we have not produced less than 10 kW. Our record day so far was this week when we produced 28.5 kW. Power bill down by $80 the first month but hopefully this will increase with summer."

Advice: "Down side of solar if you are not getting batteries installed is that you still use power at night - TV, lights, oven etc. The power companies charge you around 4x the price for your imported power as your exported power."

Terry, Waitakere City, Auckland

Review Date: 31/07/2015

Size: 2 kW

Running for: About two months

Comments on the installation: "Yes very impressed with sales and installer. Took one day to install ... left my house as if they had not been there ..,"

Comments on the system performance: "Well .. I founfd the hot water vac tube panel the best and made a good difference .. As for power solar panels not so impressive ... As changed power company and. Ended up with slightly after negotiation's higher per kilowatt but yes it's working well and have at the moment 400 kW of export power to get refund @8 cent a KW ..."

Advice: "Overall great ... Good move looking forward to the new better storage system tat will be here soon ...,
Stay with your power company a neg the price of power and meter .. Then get some prices from other companies to keep them honest ... Do your home work .. Watch the plus GST ... Use the al up including GST every time ...."

Liz, Rodney, Auckland

Review Date: 05/05/2015

Size: 1.5 kW

Running for: 1 month

Comments on the installation: "Installation was quick and pain free except that when the salesperson came and checked my verandah (where the panels are installed) he didn't see that some of the purlins were rotten and so I had to get them back to remove the panels to allow the builder to replace them. The whole process took two hours plus there would have been two hours travel and they charged me for a whole day which I thought was a bit rich. Also, the salesperson said they would put some panels on the north-west facing verandah and some on the north east facing one which, unless you use micro-inverters on each panel is impossible with a single inverter. I would say that buyers really need to be well educated on solar systems and their requirements before purchasing them so as to get the best from their installation."

Comments on the system performance: "The system works pretty well although it could work better. The roof line shades the north east facing verandah roof in the afternoon so the generating period is shorter than it could be in Summer and Autumn. I have yet to see how it performs over winter. The 1.5 KwH system usually provides as much power as I use in a day except, as it is grid-tied rather than using battery storage, at night I use power from the grid. Also, my hot water heater is 3kW so the system doesn't generate enough to heat it. Over winter I have a wet back so that heats the water. I was paying on average $60 a month in electricity I now pay a total of approx $25 a month of which $10 is the daily rate. I've been keeping a tally of daily readings for two months and the daily average net electricity usage is 0.50c excl GST. So yes, the system does save me money. However for a family I'd say a bigger system would be required."

Advice: "If you are a smart electricity user, use the solar generation during the day when it is generating and keep night time use to a minimum, always turn off appliances and don't leave them on standby etc you will save money no doubt. There is encouraging news regarding battery storage with Tesla producing a 7.5kW and a 10kW battery for home gen use. They cost around $3500US and no doubt will come down in price over time. So going off the grid, which is what I want to do, is possible at a reasonable price."

Alistair, Auckland

Review Date: 01/03/2015

Size: 4kW

Running for: 2 weeks

Comments on the installation: "The installers were amazingly courteous and very respectful while explaining what they were doing along the way of the install."

Comments on the system performance: "We haven't had a bill yet but have been checking on the app and it appears to be working really well."

Advice: "Wish I had done it years ago and planning more installs on commercial buildings."

Shirley, Papakura, Auckland

Review Date: 17/02/2015

Size: 3kW

Running for: 3 months

Comments on the installation: "Excellent, trouble free installation. Took 2 half days. However Counties Power took 2 months to install the smart meters but Xmas and New Year did intervene."

Comments on the system performance: "Performance satisfactory. Best week averaged 15.6 kWh/day, worst week in mid-Dec was 9.8 kWh/day. Best day = 19.9 kWh. Since solar was connected, 93 days ago we have produced 1236 kWh, averaging about 13.3 kWh/day. We were told that the system would average about 11.7 kWh/day over a year so the estimate looks good.  Our power bills for November and January were about 20% less than previous year and we had guests over the festive period, which we didn't have in 2013. Don't know about power back to Contact Energy because no invoice since new meters were fitted. Very cloudy days in Auckland lately, need more sunshine! We had expected to save about 50% of our power bill but I doubt if it will be that much, maybe 30-40%. We need another 9 months to confirm that one way or the other. Contact Energy reducing their power buy back to 8c/kWh just after we decided to go solar was disappointing but we had guessed that would happen. There should be a Government minimum that power companies buy power back from customers for, probably about 15c/kWh. As usual the power distributers are ripping us off! The display monitor is excellent and we haven't tired of following the data. BUT the gadget itself is very temperamental and the slightest (and I mean slightest) brush against the power lead turns the monitor off.

Advice: "If you have funds sitting in a bank getting less than 4% interest then get solar asap. The savings on your power bill will far exceed the interest lost."

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."

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."

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."