Ashish Chakravarty fondly remembers his time as a visiting faculty in “Joka”, the neighbourhood which has India’s premier management school, IIM Calcutta. The institute is a leading centre for MBA in Finance. Then it must seem apt that Ashish looks at his recent clean energy investment from a lens of financial prudence.
About a year ago, he installed a 5 KW (kilowatt) solar rooftop system at his home in CR Park in Delhi, and since then his bills have been significantly low. A lot of people don’t know this – if you have enough area on your roof, you can install solar panels and end up getting a potentially zero bill. Let’s take the case of a typical week day or a vacation day . The sun shines on your roof and produces energy, but there is no one to consume that energy at home. In such a scenario , the energy can “go back” (“be exported”) to the utility i.e. you will be selling power from your roof to the utility.
During the month of November 2016, Ashish exported more power than he imported. Therefore, not only was his bill zero, but he also had credits to carry over to the next month. His bills for October-December 2016 were zero each month. In 2017, his bills have varied from ₹120 to ₹630 every month.
He invested about ₹4,50,000 on the system, which was a one-time investment, and he saves up to ₹5,000 every month. Based on that metric, he has a payback of 5-6 years, and there on, he will generate free electricity for the remaining life of the solar panels, which is another 20 years thereafter.
He thinks such an investment is a better option than any of his other investments. Not only is he saving ₹5,000 every month, he is also doing his bit to save the environment.
The concept of residential solar has been buzzing around over the past two years since Tesla and Elon Musk made it popular. Despite that, many don’t know that the latest technology, regulations, and financing mechanisms are available in India. It’s time to embrace the example set by Ashish Chakravarty and fully adopt solar power.