Barry, Wanganui

Your article in this morning’s Chronicle newspaper suggested you may be interested in my experience with solar panels.

May, quotes called.
July, installation started.
October, efficiency questionable. Condensation on inside. Photo taken and sent to manufacturer in Tauranga.
November, panel replaced.

March, condensation again noted. Another photo sent to manufacturer. Condensation would not wash off.

May, another new panel installed. Again seemingly inefficient.
June, another photo sent to manufacturer.
July, manufacturer said they would visit us. No show.
Sept, new plumber inferred they would have nothing to do with the whole sad story.

Various observations and attempts to improve the efficiency of the panel up to August 2012.
August, panel removed. Opened, dried out and resealed.

Costing. Initial outlay including new stainless cylinder, $7373.
Various plumbers charges ?
Opening and resealing, $779.

We joined Greypower electricity in 2014 and that’s about as good as we can get it.

Since 2010 we have switched off the power to the hot water heating elements during the day (if not overcast), otherwise the water would be heated by the electricity regardless – this could be a useful tip – the system does not have this facility.

[Many thanks Barry, that does not sound like a great experience. Seems to me the product has not done what it should have done so you have remedies under the Consumer Guarantees Act (although this may be out of time now – I am not sure about that). I think it was unfair that you had to pay for the plumbers and repairs bills. The new systems do have the facility of substitution hot water heating from the grid with power from the panels – which does prove the point about how fast technology is improving – although it still has some way to go in my view to make the decision to switch compelling. – Oily Rag Ed’ )