Building a new home is an exciting prospect with so many decisions to make! But, have you included solar power on your list?


By including solar on your new house you are making the most of your investment. You'll see pay-offs immediately with added value to your house and greatly reduced power costs. If you’re thinking of building, here are some tips to help make the installation of solar go smoothly.

Where does the sun rise and set?

Which way should your house face for solar? When you build its important to design your roof with a northerly aspect. Don’t get too hung up on angles and direction though. The solar panels should ideally face anywhere from northeast to north west and be installed at an angle of 10-45 degrees to the horizontal.

Mono pitched roofs are fine, so long as they don’t face south.  And keep the roof pitch above 10 degrees. Anything less and there will not be enough rain wash to keep the panels clean in the drier and dustier summer months. Don’t despair if your roof is not facing north, because we can simply add an extra panel or two to compensate for the loss of generation. And if your roof is really flat or south facing we can install solar panels on tilt frames.

Think carefully about what might end up on your roof that will cast shadows onto your solar panels. Shade is the enemy of solar panels. Satellite dishes, TV aerials, wood burner flues—even other higher roofs, all have the potential to reduce your solar output. Try and position these items well away from your solar panels. Make sure that any roof vents or things like these are positioned on south facing roofs away from your precious north facing solar panel roof areas.

Battery location

If your system has batteries, and depending on the type of batteries, you may be able to install them outside as long as they are not in direct sunlight.
We can also install batteries inside as long as they are in a non-habitable area, such as a garage. There are specific rules that limit where batteries can be installed, so be sure to consult with us about this.


When you choose us to install solar on your new house, we don’t get in the way of your builder or compete with your electrician. In fact, we only need to come just before the wall linings are installed to prewire with solar cables up to the roof location.

This is particularly important if your roof space will be inaccessible once the ceiling linings are installed. After this is done, we don’t need to come back until after your house is complete. We will then install the solar panels and connect up the system.

Talk to us early in the process

We’ve installed solar on hundreds of new houses. We know the options for solar and we understand the build process. Talk to us when you’ve got your initial plans together so that we can advise the best roof location for the panels. We can also walk you through the different water heating and room heating systems and how they can be integrated with solar power. And don’t leave it until the last minute!

For help incorporating solar power into your new build, give McNae Energy and Solar a call.


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Family owned, we are one of the larger electrical contracting businesses in Palmerston North with 100% local ownership.

We are happy to discuss our potential involvement in any project you may have.


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