Nick Taber from New England Solar Power – From Childhood Passion to Innovation in Solar – EP 19

The Evolution of Solar in Regional New South Wales: An Insight with Nick Taber

In this article, we delve into the world of solar energy with Nick Taber from New England Solar Power. Nick’s journey in the solar industry started at a remarkably young age, and his extensive experience offers valuable insights into the unique challenges and opportunities of solar energy in regional New South Wales.

Starting Young: A Passion for Solar Energy

Nick Taber from New England Solar Power’s passion for solar energy began at the tender age of five. “My grandfather started the business in 1997,” Nick recalls. “I was born in 1996, so by 2001, I was already helping out.” For Nick, working on solar installations was more exciting than school. “I got very upset when I had to start going to school because I couldn’t go to work anymore,” he adds.

Early Roles: Learning the Ropes

As a young child, Nick’s responsibilities on the job site were both simple and crucial. “I had to unbox all the solar panels, which back then were about 80 watts each,” Nick explains. His tasks included cutting ties, lifting panels to the roof, and fetching tools for the team. “I even climbed up ladders to pass things up,” he remembers fondly. Despite his young age, Nick was paid $10 a day, which he found thrilling.

Taking Over the Family Business of New England Solar Power

Fast forward to today, Nick is now at the helm of New England Solar Power. He seamlessly transitioned from helping his grandfather to running the company. “I grew up into it,” he says. “As I got older, it was straight back into the installs during school holidays, and after finishing school, I fully immersed myself in the business.” In 2019, Nick bought the company from his grandfather and has been steering it ever since.

The Scope of New England Solar’s Services

Nick’s company, New England Solar Power, covers a vast area of New South Wales, from the Queensland border to Scone. They specialise in on-grid solar systems, hybrid systems with batteries, off-grid solutions, and solar pumping. Nick emphasises the importance of adapting to the specific needs of regional customers, who often face different challenges compared to those in urban areas.

Embracing Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging with New England Solar Power

While EV adoption is slower in regional areas, Nick is optimistic about the future. “We do have customers looking into EV charging and supporting them with solutions,” he says. However, he acknowledges the current limitations of charging infrastructure in regional areas. “When I drive out west, doing 800 km in a day on gravel roads, the current EV tech and charging infrastructure just aren’t up to snuff yet,” Nick admits.

Challenges with Cheap Solar Solutions

One significant issue Nick faces in the country is the prevalence of cheap, low-quality solar installations. “It’s often installers from the big cities who line up multiple jobs, install them hastily, and then disappear,” he explains. This leaves regional customers stranded with faulty systems and no support. Nick’s policy is clear: “We won’t fix other people’s installs because we become electrically responsible for the entire system,” he states. Instead, he offers to dismantle and reinstall a quality system from scratch.

Commitment to Quality and Customer Service

Nick’s philosophy is simple: quality over cheap prices. “Do it once and do it right,” he emphasises. This approach has been proven over decades, with some of their installations from the ’90s still working perfectly. Nick believes in building long-term relationships with customers, ensuring they receive support throughout the lifetime of their solar systems.

Tesla Powerwalls: A Preferred Battery Solution

Nick is a big fan of Tesla Powerwalls. “We absolutely love them. They’re the perfect battery solution for on-grid systems,” he says. Despite their higher cost, Nick finds that customers are delighted with the performance, reliability, and intuitive app interface of Tesla batteries.

Choosing the Right System: Solar Only or Solar and Battery?

For those considering solar installations, Nick advises going for both solar and a battery. “It’s about future-proofing and protecting yourself from blackouts,” he explains. While the initial cost may be higher, the long-term benefits, especially with rising power prices, make it a worthwhile investment.

The Importance of Panel Positioning

Proper positioning of solar panels is crucial for optimal performance. “North at about 25 degrees is ideal,” Nick advises. However, he notes that other factors like roof shape, shading, and aesthetics can influence the placement. When roof space is not ideal, a ground mount can be a great alternative, though it is more expensive.

The Future of Solar Energy

Looking ahead, Nick Taber from New England Solar Power sees the industry moving towards increased battery installations. “We’ve got solar on one in three houses in Australia now,” he notes. The focus will likely shift to adding batteries to existing systems, enhancing grid stability, and providing greater energy independence for homeowners.

The Journey of New England Solar Power

Nick Taber from New England Solar Power’s journey from a young helper to the director of New England Solar is a testament to his dedication and passion for the solar industry. His emphasis on quality, customer service, and future-proof solutions makes New England Solar Power a trusted name in regional New South Wales. As the solar landscape continues to evolve, Nick remains committed to delivering reliable, high-quality solar and battery solutions to his customers.

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