What’s the difference between 3kW and 5kW solar energy systems?

A 3kW solar energy system is cheaper than 5kW

A smaller system capacity means less solar panels are needed, so the price for a 3kW system is almost always cheaper than 5kW. On average, a 3kW system costs around $8,000 and a 5kW system costs around $2,000-$3,000 more. However, on a dollars-per-watt basis, 5kW systems generally work out slightly cheaper.

A 5kW system produces more energy

A larger system = more solar energy. Even if your current lifestyle doesn’t meet the 5kW/day threshold, if you are thinking of working from home more often, having more children, buying an electric vehicle or installing an extra fridge or freezer, you will have already catered for the extra power usage.

However, bigger isn’t necessarily better

To get the best value, the size of your solar energy system needs to closely match your electricity usage. Buy-back rates from exporting your excess energy to the electricity grid are not high enough in New Zealand to totally offset the cost of investing in a much larger system than you need. 5kW systems are more popular as they are more likely to meet the needs of the average Kiwi household. For most New Zealand homes, a 3kW system is unlikely to eliminate your entire power bill – although it will still make a massive difference!

A 3kW solar energy system uses less panels than a 5kW system

A 3kW system is typically made up of between 8-12 solar panels (depending on the quality of the panels), using an area of around 15-20m2. A 5kW system is usually comprised of 15-20 panels, so the total rooftop area needed for a 5kW system is around 25-35m2.

To make sure you get the best value out of your solar power system, our solar energy professionals can assess your needs through a free at-home consultation. We take into account our current and future energy consumption and the times of day you consume it, your roof size and budget to determine which capacity system is right for your household. Get in touch to get started on your solar energy journey today!

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