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The sun provides light and heat in an inexhaustible supply. Solar energy is the most abundant energy resource on earth – 173,000 terawatts of solar energy strikes the Earth continuously. That's more than 10,000 times the world's total energy use. And yet, only in the last decade has it been looked at as a possible source to solve the planet's demand for energy.

Using solar power in your home is an easy way to lower power costs and help to keep the planet healthy.

Solar power is the conversion of sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics (PV), or indirectly using concentrated solar power (CSP). Concentrated solar power systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam.

Photovoltaics convert light into electric current using the photovoltaic effect. Photovoltaics were initially, and still are, used to power small and medium sized applications, from the calculator powered by a single solar cell to off-grid homes powered by a photovoltaic array. As prices continue to fall, solar energy is increasingly becoming an economical energy choice for New Zealand homeowners and businesses.

If you think you would like to power your home using the sun’s free power, contact us today to see how we can help you. It may be easier and cheaper than you think to install solar panels!

If you'd like to save on energy costs but aren’t sure whether you'd benefit from solar power, we crack some popular myths to help clear up the confusion.

1. You need a lot of sun

While many people believe that solar panels won't work in cool or cloudy conditions, this is just a myth. Solar panels, which rely on UV light, also work on overcast or foggy days – and they're even more efficient when they're cool. Consider that Germany, where there are many cloudy days, is the world's leading residential solar energy producer. 

2. Solar panels are ugly

While solar systems of the past may have been considered bulky and unattractive, solar panel design has come a long way over the years. Thanks to upgrades such as thin and non-reflective solar roofing shingles, there’s now solar systems available which are designed to look good – black, sleek and a discreet design that are easily integrated onto any roof for a beautiful, modern home. 

3. They're expensive

Solar panels aren’t just for the wealthy. On the contrary, advances in solar technology production are making solar energy systems more affordable than ever for the average homeowner. In many cases you can buy a solar energy system for your home with little money down, allowing you to reap the benefits of solar immediately while the system pays for itself over time. 

4. They require too much maintenance

Solar panels don't contain moving parts, which means you don't need to do anything special to keep them running. While the general recommendation is to clean your panels once a year, even that's no longer a hard and fast rule. Today's high performance solar panels can provide high output even when dirty.

5. I should wait for solar technology to improve

Unlike computers and mobile devices, basic solar energy technology has remained relatively stable over the years. Given solar energy's technological stability and affordability, you could be forfeiting energy savings by waiting too long. And remember, the solar technology you invest in today will continue to work for decades, meaning you won't have to upgrade every few years.

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