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BusinessSeptember 23, 2021

Business is Boring: The electrician behind 20% of NZ’s new solar installations

BIB (14)

Lightforce’s Luke Nutting joined Simon Pound on Business is Boring this week to talk about catching New Zealand up with the rest of the world on solar power.

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Solar power is pretty amazing – this super abundant, super powerful source of energy, just shining down on every roof. But although it made a lot of sense as a power source in theory, for a long time it wasn’t quite there in practice.

It used to be that it took 30-odd years for the average homeowner to pay back the investment in panels and kit – and by then you might need to replace them. Battery storage of the power, and the ability to sell back your excess energy to the grid, were other crucial factors needing work. 

But times have changed, and solar is now becoming a real and preferable option to many more homes and businesses. It now takes more like seven to 10 years to recoup the investment, and then you’re well ahead. 

New Zealand is still a long way behind other countries though, with only around 1 or 2% of our houses solar, while in Australia that number is getting close to a quarter of all houses. But it is picking up pace here, and this week’s guest on Business is Boring is part of the reason why.

Luke Nutting is an electrician who eight or so years ago saw that solar would be the future. He went from being a man in a van to leading Lightforce, a company that now does 20% of New Zealand’s solar installs, with more than 80 staff around the country. Now he has big plans to help create alternative energy choices by helping people sell their excess power back to the grid.

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