The country's first Zero Energy House will lead the move towards more Kiwis fitting Intelligent Roofs on their homes, to protect themselves from the rising cost of power, says the CEO of the nation's leading solar power company.
SolarCity has partnered with the home's owners Joanna Woods and Shay Brazier, and energy consultants and eco-companies, to help build the Point Chevalier-based Zero Energy House (ZEH). The home aims to achieve net-zero power bills by generating as much electricity as is consumed, through a blend of energy-efficient features and an Intelligent Solar Roof.
Labour leader David Shearer and one of Pure Advantage's Trustees Stephen Tindall met with SolarCity CEO Andrew Booth and Shay Brazier this morning (Friday 29) at the home to see the Intelligent Roof which has just been installed.
Andrew Booth says the Zero Energy House's roof has a combination of an Artline Solar Hot Water system manufactured in Christchurch and the Pacific's first installation of the Solarcentury C21e solar power roof tile.
"Our new Intelligent Roof will generate clean, renewable energy that saves money and offsets electricity consumption - helping homeowners put an end to power bills," Andrew Booth says. "The price of power in New Zealand is more than 70% higher than in Australia and the United States. There is very little point switching power companies in the face of such high prices. Homeowners would be far better off switching to solar."
Shay Brazier, Zero Energy House owner, and Head of Design and Innovation at SolarCity, says his Zero Energy House could save as much as $50,000 - $80,000 in power costs over the next 25 years.
"Our Zero Energy House protects us from the impact of electricity rate increases while safeguarding the environment for the next generation," Brazier says. "The country needs to start thinking about making their roofs more intelligent, and start thinking about the cost of running a house per square metre, rather than just the cost of building a house per square metre.
"An intelligent roof works for you, rather than sits dormant," he says. "It uses the free sunshine and turns it into electricity, which let's face it, is a huge monthly cost for everyone. It pays for itself by significantly reducing the cost of running a home, as it costs a fraction of the energy costs that the house would incur over its life.
"Each house's situation is different, so the mix of Solar Hot Water and Solar Photovoltaic technologies people may choose to make their roof intelligent will be different," he says. "Our intelligent roof includes a SolarCity Artline Solar Hot Water system, and the new C21e roofing tiles, which SolarCity has just made available in New Zealand. The Artline system will provide 25% of our home's energy by heating the majority of our water for us, and the C21e solar slate roofing tile will provide 45% of our power needs, and the rest of the home achieves zero energy through energy efficiency.
"We are thrilled to be the first in the Pacific to have the C21e roofing tile, which is a product that proves that a roof can be smart and attractive."
Stephen Tindall says "The key to making cases like Shay's the norm will be the Government and business working together, to put real innovation to work for us. The problem is that we're still subsidising fossil fuels, instead of using our natural advantage to build a sustainable economy, reduce our environmental footprint, and improve living standards for everyone."
Labour leader calls for solar on new homes
In his electorate today at the Zero Energy House, Labour leader David Shearer said New Zealanders should all be aiming towards having Zero Energy homes.
"New Zealand should be as clean and green as we say it is," Shearer says. "Given our high sunshine hours and mild climate, New Zealand has the perfect opportunity to reduce our reliance on carbon fuels. The government should be reducing the barriers to solar energy for everyday New Zealanders, so we all have the opportunity to minimise our power bills and carbon footprints, as Jo and Shay are doing. These guys are showing us the way."
Shearer says it was totally regressive for the National-led government to remove solar hot water grants, which it did earlier this month. "In Europe, solar and other forms or renewable energy are seen as the way of the future. New Zealand is lagging behind when we should be way out in front.
"Labour believes increasing renewable energy in homes is the way of the future," he says. "Solar technology is becoming more affordable by the day, and in Christchurch is even being fitted as standard across 3500 new homes, which will harness solar energy to power themselves, and sell any excess energy back to the national grid. The Zero Energy House is a house of the future, and a wake-up call."
Popular competitions and giveaways from Gimme.co.nz: NZ's People Powered Guide to Free Stuff. Links will open on Gimme.
Join Voxy on Google+.
Compare Credit Cards - Interest rate and fees comparisons for New Zealand banks.