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  Reply # 1522683 30-Mar-2016 10:36
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 http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11603976

 

 

 

Power prices at Genesis Energy, Mercury Energy and on part of the Contact Energy network will go up on April 1.

 

Genesis and Mercury will increase their prices by about 2 per cent, or 5c a day for a 3-bedroom household.

 

Contact Energy will put up prices for 15 of its 29 network regions on the same date. They are Southern Hawkes Bay, Central Hawkes Bay, Invercargill, Southland, North Otago, Otago, Dunedin, Nelson, Westpower, Buller, Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Timaru, Wairarapa and Eastland.

 

The average increase for residents would be between $4 and $12 a month.
Meridian will increase their prices by 0.01 per cent because prices went up for 70 per cent of customers last year.


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  Reply # 1522901 30-Mar-2016 18:09
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I've been on the Vector SunGenie pilot scheme for the last two years. I believe the SolarZero arrangement is similar. I have a 10kWh battery and a 5kWh system on my roof. It's facing due West at a 45 degree angle and we're on the south side of a hill so we lose the sun a little earlier than others. The system runs on a ruleset which governs how it supplies the house, charges the battery, and exports excess power. It does try to look after the health of the battery at all costs, so ideally a full discharge and charge every day, though the weather doesn't always make that possible.

 

In the summer it lets you use what you generate at any time of day, because the battery still fills up by sundown even if you've got a lot of things running. I generate more than I use in the summer, although some gets lost in export (sold at 7.5c per kWh) unless I am home to throw on some washing when I notice the battery is full and the system is exporting. And once the sun goes down, if I use the oven and run the kid a bath, I use up my stored battery power before morning and then draw from the grid all night until I start generating again. A larger battery would help a lot in that situation, but the technology isn't there yet. If it was, I'd spend a few months of the year mostly off the grid.

 

In the winter the system tends to try to fill the battery up as much as possible before letting you use the generated power. I can't fill it up most winter days. In June/July I generate around 200kWh a month, and in December it's over 600kWh. It can be quite expensive over winter because not only is generation much lower but you're using much more power to heat the house. Still, I've never exceeded my maximum pre-solar winter power bill while paying the solar/grid combined costs.

 

There's an online dashboard that I can view which is connected to my modem, so I can monitor what I am generating and adjust my usage accordingly to maximise efficiency - it helps that I work from home. In the event of a power outage the system will run my nominated "critical load circuits." In my case I've made sure the modem, fridge, microwave and living room lights are powered. When the grid power is on, the system will run anything that is going - heat pumps, hot water cylinder - as long as it's generating enough or there's sufficient battery available, until the battery hits around 10% and then I'll switch back to grid power. If there's a storm coming, Vector will switch us into storm mode to make sure the battery stays sufficiently charged to power the house for several hours in the event of an outage.

 

My contract is 12 years at a fixed monthly rate for the lease of the system. At the end they'll either re-negotiate or remove for free. If I sell the house and the new owner has a problem, I can pay for the system to be removed. There are costs associated.

 

I've not saved any money yet - in fact it's cost me more overall because the monthly lease cost exceeds what my grid-only summer power bill used to be, so it's more expensive during the sunnier months. But as grid prices rise the fixed solar price will get comparatively cheaper and more economical.

 

My inverter failed the other week - it stopped supporting the house load and just charged the battery to full then turned the panels off every day. Vector sent someone out with a new inverter at their cost. 

 

In the last 24 hours I've used 20.5kWh, 13.6kWh of which is solar. The rest is grid. I've exported 0.5kWh. Over the last 7 hours I've been exclusively solar powered.

 

I hope all of that is of interest.





Geek girl. Freelance copywriter and editor at Unmistakable.co.nz.

 

Currently using: Modified 2008 Mac Pro, HP M6-1017TX Laptop, iPad Pro, iPhone 7, iPhone 6S, AppleTV4.


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  Reply # 1522915 30-Mar-2016 19:00
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littleheaven:

 

 

 

I hope all of that is of interest.

 

 

Very interesting stats. So would you have gone ahead with it if you had known this would be the result?

 

I am also wondering how can they invoke that cost on the new owner? eg. Is it on a legal document connected to the property? If you didn't mention it to the new owner, how would they know about it, and that they were in some form of contract automatically. Personally I would far prefer to buy the system outright rather than a lease, where at the end it doesn't appear you own anything. I wonder if they would remove the old hardware which will be far less efficient, and probably has little value anyway, or let you keep it.


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  Reply # 1522918 30-Mar-2016 19:05
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gchiu:

 

Got an email from them to say many of the major retailers were increasing prices on the 1st April.  And if we sign up before 1st, we can get 20 Panasonic LEDs for our house ...

 

 

 

 

Would depend on the type/wattage of LED you get, and the age (techonology, as the newer ones are more efficient). But Panasonic LEDs can range in price when on special from $5-$20. So that is only a discount from $100 up, which isn't much of  an incentive. You are also paying for it in the price, as they aren't 'giving them away' for free.


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  Reply # 1522925 30-Mar-2016 19:36
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mattwnz:

littleheaven:


 


I hope all of that is of interest.



Very interesting stats. So would you have gone ahead with it if you had known this would be the result?


I am also wondering how can they invoke that cost on the new owner? eg. Is it on a legal document connected to the property? If you didn't mention it to the new owner, how would they know about it, and that they were in some form of contract automatically. Personally I would far prefer to buy the system outright rather than a lease, where at the end it doesn't appear you own anything. I wonder if they would remove the old hardware which will be far less efficient, and probably has little value anyway, or let you keep it.



Hmm, I probably would have still have gone ahead, as I wasn't expecting immediate savings. I hope I get some eventually though. It all depends on what grid pricing does. If it continues to rise at recent rates, the solar will soon be cheap by comparison.

As far as selling the house, the new owner is under no obligation to take over the lease, in which case you have to pay to remove the system before the house changes hands. They have the option to take over the lease if they want to. This is made very clear when you sign up, so you have to be prepared for that cost if a new owner isn't interested. You have to make a new owner aware of it, you can't just sell the house and skip off - if you did you'd still be liable to pay the lease yourself, I believe.

My system is worth about $35k (that's how much I had to add to the house insurance) so buying outright was not an option. You're buying the power you generate and the ongoing maintenance, not the equipment itself. At the end of the lease they take it all away. I believe you can renegotiate the lease at that stage. I don't know if you'd get an option to buy it outright or whether I'd want to - the battery would be at the end of its life by then and might cost a lot to maintain or replace. If it was saving money and I wanted to re-lease I would expect a new lease to include a new battery. I guess you could keep running the panels on their own (they are good for up to 25 years I think) but there are other expensive bits - mainly the inverter. Since I'm on my 2nd already I'd worry about the cost of that, but who knows how cheap that technology will be in 10 years from now.




Geek girl. Freelance copywriter and editor at Unmistakable.co.nz.

 

Currently using: Modified 2008 Mac Pro, HP M6-1017TX Laptop, iPad Pro, iPhone 7, iPhone 6S, AppleTV4.




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1522942 30-Mar-2016 20:42
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 Interesting, Vector do seem to have covered a lot of bases.  I wonder if SolarZero+ has been as thorough?

 

 

 

But I think SolarCity are saying that you will save money on their system whereas with yours you haven't yet.


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  Reply # 1522949 30-Mar-2016 21:02
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gchiu:

 Interesting, Vector do seem to have covered a lot of bases.  I wonder if SolarZero+ has been as thorough?


 


But I think SolarCity are saying that you will save money on their system whereas with yours you haven't yet.



Vector's system is a pilot scheme so there is an element of trial and error with it. They don't sell the units I have anymore, they use the Tesla Powerwall now. My installation isn't optimal so I knew going in that I'd probably only make 75% of the full potential generation, and I had to get the bigger array which costs more per month. They do expect me to save money in the long run, but not as quickly as others. I think if you are well-positioned (NE to NW facing with a 20-30 degree pitch) you would probably end up in the winning side over time. It all hinges on what retail power prices do as to how much.




Geek girl. Freelance copywriter and editor at Unmistakable.co.nz.

 

Currently using: Modified 2008 Mac Pro, HP M6-1017TX Laptop, iPad Pro, iPhone 7, iPhone 6S, AppleTV4.


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  Reply # 1522956 30-Mar-2016 21:05
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Forgot to mention that our location was unsuitable to proceed even if I had been ready to sign.  The roof layout relative to due north is insufficient and enough of the morning sun would be obscured by the neighbours 2 storey house that the system would not be running efficiently enough to give the savings discussed.

 

I remain interested in a compact battery system (to have effectively as a multi-hour UPS but the prices will have to fall significantly.





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“Don't believe anything you read on the net. Except this. Well, including this, I suppose.” Douglas Adams

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  Reply # 1523289 31-Mar-2016 12:29
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Dynamic:

 

Forgot to mention that our location was unsuitable to proceed even if I had been ready to sign.  The roof layout relative to due north is insufficient and enough of the morning sun would be obscured by the neighbours 2 storey house that the system would not be running efficiently enough to give the savings discussed.

 

I remain interested in a compact battery system (to have effectively as a multi-hour UPS but the prices will have to fall significantly.

 

 

Yes, New Zealand's topography in many areas can be a problem with shading (see earlier comment about the hill I live on!). We had to cut down a tree that was shading half our roof. We actually get virtually no morning sun on the panels because of the roof position (due West) and pitch - it has to get over the ridgeline. But we generate more than others in the late afternoon as the sun is dropping because it shines directly onto the panels for some time. They did a study in Texas that suggested West-facing panels generated more power overall, and at the time of day more people were likely to benefit from it, but not sure whether that works in NZ.





Geek girl. Freelance copywriter and editor at Unmistakable.co.nz.

 

Currently using: Modified 2008 Mac Pro, HP M6-1017TX Laptop, iPad Pro, iPhone 7, iPhone 6S, AppleTV4.


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  Reply # 1523334 31-Mar-2016 14:11
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gchiu:

 

 http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11603976

 

 

 

Power prices at Genesis Energy, Mercury Energy and on part of the Contact Energy network will go up on April 1.

 

Genesis and Mercury will increase their prices by about 2 per cent, or 5c a day for a 3-bedroom household.

 

Contact Energy will put up prices for 15 of its 29 network regions on the same date. They are Southern Hawkes Bay, Central Hawkes Bay, Invercargill, Southland, North Otago, Otago, Dunedin, Nelson, Westpower, Buller, Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Timaru, Wairarapa and Eastland.

 

The average increase for residents would be between $4 and $12 a month.
Meridian will increase their prices by 0.01 per cent because prices went up for 70 per cent of customers last year.

 

 

 

 

In Auckland, Vector are increasing their lines fees by 1c per day and 0.03c per kW/Hr. (standard user) And if you have piped Natural gas connected (and you are on an uncontrolled plan) Your kw/hr charge will go down by 0.8c per kW/Hr.

 

So yet another excuse by the major companies to raise their prices for no reason. (far more than the increase in lines charges) And for alot of customers who also have gas, the retail company will be paying less to Vector. How likely do you think they will pass on that price cut?








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  Reply # 1524158 1-Apr-2016 18:22
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 What's the story behind Unison increasing line charges for solar users in the central Hawke's Bay?


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  Reply # 1524162 1-Apr-2016 18:32
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decrease in profits due to less units begin sold due to solar so increase line charges to solar units to compensate


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  Reply # 1524183 1-Apr-2016 18:41
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Yup, typical tactic.  The power companies do this to local authorities at the moment who are replacing street lights with LEDs; the loss of unit consumption due to the efficiency of the LED has 'forced' them to increase their costs to the Councils... A dirty practice!


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  Reply # 1524386 2-Apr-2016 01:20
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Actually it is to do with peak demand. From the Unison website:

 

Unison GM Business Assurance, Nathan Strong said currently, many distributed generation consumers receive a significant reduction in their network charges because of the lower electricity volumes flowing through the network, however they still contributed to peak network demand which dictates network investment.

 

Mr Strong said the new price category ensures the costs of building and maintaining the network to meet peak demand were shared fairly among all electricity users. 

 

“Unison must build and maintain a network to support the delivery of electricity at peak demand, which is during the winter evenings – a time when most distributed generation systems, such as solar panels, are not helping to reduce the network peak.”

 

“Currently to do this, it costs Unison around $900 to service each residential customer.  Under the previous price structure, those customers with DG connections were avoiding approximately $300 of these costs, which we would still incur to supply them with the same service.  That avoided cost would then be shared across other users, and we don’t believe that is fair.

 

In other words a customers peak demand has almost no relation to the total amount of power used by that customer. Long term all lines companies and retailers will have to move to either time of use or peak demand based charging. As staying with the current system will mean forever increasing prices. And some customers getting unfairly penalised. As those with low peak demand will be subsiding those with high peak demand. 

 

Vector have said that average electricity usage per customer is dropping by 1.2% per year. (If I remembered it correctly). The only reason overall electricity usage in increasing is due to the number of customers also increasing. (new house building). This means that fixed costs have to be spread over a lower number of units used. So prices have to increase just so the power company can keep revenues steady.






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  Reply # 1524427 2-Apr-2016 09:14
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I wonder what would happen to prices if Tiwai point were to close?


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