We had been living off the grid for 10 years on a small island, 10 minutes from Motueka.
Self-sufficient - rainwater, septic tank, solar power and a generator.
We hadn’t had a power bill for 10 years!
We decided to move for practical reasons. The access to our house was by sea and the 45 minute drive to Nelson was time consuming and expensive.
We loved having a country lifestyle while running our business so we looked on the city fringes for a new home.
We found the perfect place at the top of a valley at the end of the road and only 15 minutes from work.
The one flaw of the property was the huge energy supplies the house needed to run.
We moved into our new home in June and it was cold!
The hot water, which was also used for the underfloor heating, was run on gas. The Agar cooker, runs 24 hours a day in the winter to heat the living areas, and also runs on gas.
Then the pump for the water supply with household electrical needs gave us a whopping overall power bill!
We were paying $100.00 dollars a week for gas and then another $75.00 a week for power.
That’s $700.00 a month for power!!!!
Wow that was a shock!
We calculated our annual power consumption was going to be approx. $5000.00 per year, (and that would be if we were careful!)
We decided to take back the power!
The only way to make the power bill affordable was to produce solar electricity.
We decided to invest in a Grid Tie Solar System with a battery bank because we wanted to use the power we made at night. The batteries store your electricity that you make during the day and you can use it during the night or if there is a power cut on the main grid.
Also by storing the power our solar made it gave us a better return on our investment.
The beauty of the grid tie solar system with battery back up is that once the batteries are fully charged any excess electricity your system makes that you don’t need in your home can be exported back to the power company and they pay you for it.
So we now have 75 x 250 watt solar panels on our roof, that’s 18.75 KW!
15 KW is tied to the grid and as an example, in the month of December, we are feeding 100 KW per day back into the grid so the power company is paying us $17.25 per day!
All our electrical needs during daylight hours are run on solar, so our power bill consists of our line charges only.
The other 3.75 KW of solar is a stand-alone system, that means the power that is made from this solar is fed into our 100 KW battery bank, when the battery bank is full any excess power is fed back into the grid and bought by the power company. At night, our electricity requirements come from the battery bank.
When we bought our house the power situation was a real draw back, now we have the ultimate power system, the sun, and have added capital value to our home.