• There are two basic premises that our commercial clients install Solar Water Heating.
  • Great ROI – Solar water heating has a great return on investment with typically returns of 30-50%.
  • The Green tick – There are many intrinsic benefits of going solar, enviro ratings in the hospitality industry, green credentials for customer expectations or being good corporate citizens.
  • Solar Water Heating for commercial properties makes sense where there is a reasonably high water usage. Examples of this are Motels, Youth hostels, Retirement Villages, Dairyfarms, Processing Plants, Vineyards, Hairdressers, Swimming pools, prisons, hospitals and other workplaces where employees have a showering facility.

Solar makes sense for commercial even more so than residential as the cost of the installations are generally spread over a larger installation and therefore the return on power produced for the capital spent is much better. Depreciation rates are also high on solar meaning that the product can be written off quickly with the associated tax benefits.

An example of leveraging Solar was an install on a motor lodge in Christchurch. By adding Solar they managed to increase their star rating from 4½ stars to 5 stars as Energy Efficiency is a portion of the star rating system. Not only is the motor lodge saving around $1,000 per month on their power bill, they have also been able to increase their occupancy and room rates due to the increased energy star rating.


At Sunshine Solar we supply and install both Solar Water Heating and Solar Electricity and therefore can advise if either system is right for your business.

The key differences are:

STEP 1 Solar Water Heating is much more efficient converting around 85% of the UV radiation to energy (heat), whereas the best solar electricity systems convert around 16% to electricity.

STEP 2 Solar Water Heaters do not send power back to the Grid, In a solar water heating system the Hot Water Cylinder is your energy storage (battery) and therefore the reduced return rates from power companies do not apply.

STEP 3 Solar Water heaters only provide heat whereas Solar Power can supply power for your hot water cylinder (less efficiently) but also power for other appliances.
If you would like to investigate Solar Power options please call us directly or look at our Solar Electricity website www.sunshinesolarpv.co.nz where we are proud to offer the latest in Solar Electricity systems.


Solar is a relatively seemless addition to an existing hot water system. Our most common method of commercial and industrial intergration is by adding a solar preheat system to whatever is currently onsite.

By using a preheat system your hot water system will work the same as before you have had solar except that you will have extra storage and much lower costs. The main benefits of solar our clients have seen from an operation point of view are: Significantly lower operational costs, Not having to change gas bottles or kicking the gas man off site, not running out of hot water, and an increased awareness of energy efficiency in the workplace.


Commercial Solar systems are designed and priced based on the job at hand. These can be from Massive pool systems to one off small hot water cylinder jobs. We can very quickly give ballpark figures on design, costs and returns of solar systems. Please call us for an on-site assessment to be able to give you an accurate estimate.

Recent Jobs


By YHA New Zealand
Franz Josef – YHA Franz Josef put their commitment to sustainability into action with the installation of solar panels on their West Coast property.

YHA Franz Josef undertook a major environmental and long-term investment with project partner Sunshine Solar by installing 108 metres of solar panels on the Franz Josef hostel roof to generate power and to heat the hostel’s water.

YHA New Zealand Manager, Operations, Simon Cartwright, says, “Using innovative technology to provide a steady supply of clean and renewable energy fits into YHA Franz Josef’s long-term plan. It also continues YHA New Zealand’s longstanding commitment to environmental sustainability and responsible tourism, which is increasingly important to our guests and staff.”

Sunshine Solar’s goal is to help the hostel reduce CO emissions by 5.5 tonnes per year, power usage by 6% and gas usage for heating water by 20%. On an average day, the photovoltaic solar panels will generate 125 kilowatts directly from the sun.

Sunshine Solar Operations Manager, Matt Finlay, said they were thrilled to partner with YHA New Zealand at the Franz Josef property. He says, “This is one of the largest solar systems to be installed on the West Coast, and certainly the largest in Franz Josef. We were excited to be part of that and to meet, and possibly exceed, YHA New Zealand’s expectations.”

Mitsubishi Electric Black Diamond Solar PV Panels were selected for this project. Designed to specifically withstand extreme weather conditions, these premium panels are ideal for the rugged environment that surrounds YHA Franz Josef.

Sunshine Solar will install a Splash Monitoring System in the guest lounge in April. This system will allow guests to observe, and staff to monitor and control, the use of resources across the hostel. The system provides real time temperatures, weather data, system operation and heat collected through the solar panels.

YHA Franz Josef offers secure accommodation nestled into West Coast rainforest. http://www.yha.co.nz/yha-franz-josef/

About YHA Franz Josef:

·        Located at 2-4 Cron Street

·        Qualmark five star rated, Enviro Award Silver

·        Private single, twin, double rooms, family rooms and shared dormitories

·        Some rooms have ensuites

·        Free sauna

·        WiFi

·        TV lounge and comfortable open-plan lounge with pool table

·        Fully equipped self-catering kitchen

·        Laundry facilities and drying room

·        Free car parking


About YHA New Zealand

The Youth Hostels Association of New Zealand, (YHA New Zealand) is a not-for-profit association that was established in 1932 in Canterbury. With a network of 45 hostels in both islands, YHA New Zealand provides high quality budget accommodation to New Zealanders and international travellers. YHA New Zealand is a committed advocate of sustainable practices. An example of this was the recent implementation of a geothermal down-bore heat exchanger at YHA Rotorua. For more information please visit: http://www.yha.co.nz.

About Sunshine Solar                                                                                                                                                                      

Sunshine Solar has worked hard to help families, trusts, schools, community organisations and businesses find the best solutions to high power consumption for over a decade. Sunshine Solar keeps pace with this emerging and evolving market while also teaming up with the University of Canterbury and Christchurch Polytechnic to work on desalination and alternative energy solutions for third world communities. https://www.sunshinesolar.co.nz/

Waipara Riverside Park

Waipara Riverside Park installed two sunshine solar systems consisting of 150 tubes and 120 tubes on to their buildings which each sleep just over 50 people each. Previously they used Gas and Diesel burner for their hot water needs. Now they are very happy with the Sunshine Solar product and technical support.

Kapi Mana Special Needs school

Installed by James Taylor and team of Mana Plumbing and Bathrooms.