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Why Solar Power Was the Perfect Fit for TV3’s Reality Home Renovators

The theme of the kitchen-focused episode of TV3’s latest reality show, Creative Living, was making sure that the renovation of a 100-year-old Kiwi villa was perfectly tailored to the needs of a growing New Zealand family.

Harrisons Energy Solutions has worked alongside TV builder Peter Wolfkamp (you’ll recognise him as the site foreman from The Block NZ) as he helps couple Jo and Richard Graham turn their run-down, three-bedroom Ponsonby house into a beautiful and efficient home for their growing family.

And while the couple were focused on choosing the most cost-effective appliances, fixtures and fittings for their smart, new kitchen, it made sense for them to also think about installing home solar panels as a way to help cut their power bills and future-proof their home.

So while Peter and the team talked through the importance of choosing the right number of power points and the most energy-efficient, high-use appliances such as stove top, oven, fridge and freezer, Jo and Richard discussed the perfect solar system to suit both their location and their lifestyle with Dan Brebner from Harrisons Energy Solutions.

Home_Solar_Panels_-_Creative_Living_-_Harrisons_Energy.JPGAnd it soon became apparent that just as fitting a new kitchen means tailoring the design and the specific appliances to the needs of the family (Jo is keen to consider the “long-term energy costs of appliances” while the couple both accept Peter’s plan for a smaller kitchen space), so finding the right solar system means considering what Jo and Richard want to get out of it. As Dan says, “The whole idea is tailoring a solution around each individual home. It can be tough because solar is not an out-of-the-packet thing – it’s different for everybody.”

Dan explains that their choice of a Premium LG Solar System – which includes eight LG 285W Mono X2 panels, a SolarEdge 2.2kW Inverter and eight optimisers – may well be a “larger ticket item but is a good long-term investment”.

By choosing a system whereby each panel works independently of each other it doesn’t matter that the Ponsonby villa doesn’t have a huge north-facing roofspace and can cope with indirect sunlight. Dan reckons that during daylight hours the panels ought to be able to cope with the power required to, say, run an appliance like a dishwasher without any problem.

During a renovation is the perfect time to install a solar system because you can run wiring before gib-board and plastering is completed, and the Harrisons Energy Solutions system that Jo and Richard choose is also future-proofed in case they want to upgrade to solar battery storage with a minimum of fuss and expense by ensuring all components are fully spec-ed for improved energy efficiency.

From the outset of their renovation, Jo and Richard have been keen to stamp their own character on their home – as well as turning it in a comfortable, cost-effective, healthy and well-insulated home, they have also opted for finishing touches that speak volumes about who they are as a couple. Choosing a solar energy system from Harrisons is yet another way they are able to mix practicality with their own personality.

You can catch each episode of Creative Living on TV3, Saturdays from 4:30pm until October 22 or watch the episodes online – and if you’re inspired by Jo and Richard’s project to makeover your whole home, or even just a room or two, you can call Harrisons for a free in-home consultation on 0800 00 33 54 or contact us via the website.

Almost any renovation in New Zealand is going to have balance the practicalities of converting under-insulated, draughty and unhealthy places into energy-efficient and comfortable homes while also creating something perfectly designed for a specific family’s specific needs.

And what Creative Living displays best of all is how easily you can find products – such as a solar energy system – that offer ways to address both.