Robert, from Hastings, was one of the first Kiwis to sign up for solarZero when we launched our revolutionary solar-as-a-service in 2018. As a foundation customer, he has been part of a tremendous year of discovery and development as this unique solar service evolved.
“My experience with solarcity and the solarZero product has been second to none. Any time I’ve needed assistance on any level, all it ever took was a phone call. Even better, I’ve always been well served by the product itself, which has never failed to provide me with affordable energy and save me money each and every month. My emergency candles have remained unlit for many years, and my generator has only had to come out of the shed for its servicing and maintenance-runs!”
Robert has always had a keen interest in solar and took notice when the model changed in the US with the introduction of lease options. He was very interested to know when this option would be available in New Zealand, and when he heard what solarcity was offering he knew it was time to jump on board.
“I’d always wanted to utilise solar power, but it was not until integrated solar solutions like solarZero became available (the kind that did not require the homeowner to have a PhD in electrical engineering!) that I decided the time was right for me.”
“What I love about solarZero is it’s an all-in-one service that ties in best-of-class products, the installation, and the integration with a homeowner’s grid-electrical connection.”
Having solarZero powering his home has created a buzz amongst his family and workmates. With his endorsement, both his parents and brother are now also solarZero customers and are equally happy with making the decision to run their homes with renewable energy. Many of his workmates are also currently looking at joining solarZero, inspired by the enthusiasm Robert shares about his experience with the system in his home.
As a self-proclaimed ‘data nerd’, Robert tracks his solar power production and energy usage through the online mysolarzero dashboard that provides real-time information each day.
“The best thing about running my home on solarZero is knowing that, along with catching and using rain-water, growing and eating my own fruit and veges, and using an electric moped to get around, I’m actually taking action and doing my part to be a responsible member of the species.”
Robert chooses to use his moped instead of a car whenever he can, saving him a small fortune in fuel, and parking is a breeze. He charges the moped’s battery once a week, which provides enough power to travel 100-120 km, which is plenty for getting around town and completing errands on a daily basis. Robert also takes advantage of low-peak grid pricing by setting a timer to charge the battery in the early hours of the morning.
“We’ve only got one planet and we need to take care of her so that she can keep taking care of us. If we want our great-grand-children to lead happy, healthy lives, we need to become a generation of action, not a generation of time wasters passing-the-buck on social media.”
solarZero provides around two-thirds of Robert’s home energy needs, with the remainder provided by Ecotricity, a 100% renewable energy provider. In October 2019, solarZero introduced an additional benefit for its customers - a capped price of 8c/KWh on electricity from Ecotricity, providing further certainty for customers on the price they pay for power. With some regions peaking as high as 70c/kWh and the average price of grid power in 2019 being 15c/kWh, the benefit of an 8c/kWh price cap is clear.
“Late last year I was seeing some daytime prices swell to a sustained 20-45c/kWh, and on one occasion, surge as high as 70c/kWh in my area. It’s reassuring to know that the 8c cap is protecting me from this market volatility.”