Recently both Contact and Meridian have changed their buyback rates in a response to the growing numbers of people and businesses installing solar PV electricity systems. Although these drops are significant we at PowerSmart don't see them affecting the viability of solar for our customers current or in the future. The reason for this is when we are designing a solar electricity system our goal is not selling electricity back to the national grid, rather it is to use all the electricity generated by our customers system in their home or business. This is what we call internalising your power usage.
By internalising your electricity usage you stop the need to buy electricity from the electricity retailer such as Contact or Meridian and so you save whatever the retail rate for electricity is. For most of New Zealand this averages about 33c /kWh and this has been steadily increasing every year. What this means for people wanting to have solar electricity installed is to make sure they work with a solar electriciy provider, with the experience and expertise to deisgn and install the right size system for them. Every solar PV system needs to be designed for the individual so to maximise the returns.
For us at PowerSmart we know the buyback rates have dropped, but most importantly for us we don't see the retail rates dropping any time soon and as long as these continue to go up we will continue to see our customers save more money and more money every year.