A roof in Feilding finds its place in the sun
Meridian customer Norbert Reiser is a renewable energy generator, just like us. The solar panels on the roof of his Feilding home power much of his electricity needs, and he relies on Meridian and the grid for the rest.
So, why solar? Norbert says that for him, it makes both financial and environmental sense. He began exploring solar for his family’s bakery back in Germany and managed to cut their annual energy spend by 30% through installing solar panels and other technology.
“That was the starting point. Then I thought about using and storing energy for myself on a bigger scale,” he says.
Norbert describes his energy sources as pieces of a puzzle – using power from his solar panels, and from the grid, when it best suits his energy use.
“That’s the great thing about it. If you’ve got solar, you’ve got the flexibility of choice – being able to use it as much or as little as you want, depending on what’s sensible for you.”
For example, Norbert chooses to run his fridge and freezer from solar year-round, relying on the grid for the rest of his power. But, when the sun comes out to play in summer and his panels are generating more energy, he’s able to power the hot water cylinder and charge his battery with solar, too.
“It means we’re self-sufficient and independent – I can keep my essentials running no matter what,” says Norbert.
“Living on a farm, we store a lot of food in our fridge and freezer, so we chose those as the important things to power from solar. In winter, I charge my batteries from the grid so I can use them during the day. The same goes for the hot water cylinder. But in summer, I can power those myself. It makes the solar system more efficient – there’s never any energy going to waste.”
Norbert notes that solar does require considerable upfront costs but says “it’s a long-term game”.
“The money I’ve saved from solar energy means my equipment will be paid off very soon – everything from the panels to the installation – and it means I’ve got choice over my energy use, choosing between my generation and the grid’s, when it suits me. You’ve got to look at the long-term and you’ll see the benefits."
At Meridian, we’re proud to have customers like Norbert who recognise the importance of renewable energy.
“We need to start using more renewable energy,” says Norbert.
“Oil and gas is just bad for the environment, so we need to use more alternative sources. The reason I chose Meridian is because its energy is generated from 100% renewable energy sources... like me. We’re both improving the future for our green Aotearoa and its people.”