With the pandemic forcing many people to stay back and work from home, there have been multiple news reports of inflated power bills reaching the doorsteps of residents. While many have gone to social media to express their discontentment, this may not be the ideal solution. After all, one can’t pick a fight every month.
Instead, the best possible long term solution is gradually withdrawing from the electricity grid and setting up your own solar energy installation at home. Though the initial cost set up may seem high, in the long-run, you actually reduce your overall expenses, to the point where you get power for free.
Many households across the country have seen a drastic reduction in their power bills when they went solar, while others have stopped paying a power bill altogether. There are companies in India that can help you achieve these objectives. Here are five that can install solar power in your home and help you cut your bills drastically:
For residential societies:
1) Truesan: This Mumbai-based startup is helping the city’s residents and commercial entities bring down their massive electricity bills by almost 100 per cent. Installing rooftop solar panels for residential societies across the city, the startup has made a real difference.
The solar panels get wired to an inverter which converts the electricity from Direct Current (DC) to Alternate Current (AC). The inverter is synchronised to the net metre. Subsequently, the net metre is programmed to take power from solar panels and pull the remaining from the grid if needed. The cost for an average installation of 10 KW is Rs 12-15 Lakh.
For minimal set up:
2) Hartek Solar: This Chandigarh-based company’s customised ‘plug-and-play’ residential rooftop solar kits have helped households not only to reduce their electricity bills to zero, but also enabled them to generate their own sustainable, clean and affordable power.
With a 5 kWp system, you’re tentatively looking at a cost of Rs 2.5 Lakh including all charges. On top of which, governments offer subsidies for residential owners installing solar panels. The USP of this company is that they literally help you set it up in one-go, without any major construction.
For individual homes:
3) Magenta Power: For a more ‘individual home’ set up, this Mumbai-based firm installs renewable energy solutions and electric vehicle mobility infrastructure. It has helped residents of the city like Dr. Reema Lewis cut their electricity bills from Rs 10,000 to Rs 300 per month during the peak summer season thanks to a 5kw solar power installation.
“On non-cloudy days, I have no use for conventional electricity at all. All the lights, fans, air conditioners, refrigerator and even my clinic, which is located at my house, are powered by solar energy. The entire shift set us back by Rs 2.5 lakh, but it’s like paying the old electricity bill for a little over two years in advance, while we receive a lifetime of free solar power,” said Dr Reema, in an earlier interaction with The Better India.
For management and payment plans:
4) Zunroof: Since its incorporation in 2016, this Gurgaon-based company has designed more than 30,000 rooftop solar systems across more than 75 cities in India. The company specialises in solar rooftop design, installation and management using artificial intelligence.
In June, the company launched a payment plan for the installation of new residential solar rooftops in Delhi at Rs 660 per month. According to the company press release, Zunroof will charge a nominal processing fee of Rs 10,000 per kilowatt (kW). Monthly payments will be spread over seven years, which would begin only after net metering is implemented. This will allow homeowners to save cash from day one and pay for the solar rooftop installment from monthly savings.
For lower costs, and an ‘Inverterless’ conversion
5) Cygni Energy: Founded in 2015, this Hyderabad based solar energy startup has powered more than 20,000 homes across 10 states.
“Cygni’s Solar DC solutions or DC Micro-grid is an innovative technology which provides green solar energy and dc power at a very low cost. The technology removes the requirement of AC to DC and DC to AC conversions which helps in reducing the cost of production of per unit watt power,” notes the company website.
Their standout product is Inverterless Systems.
“This is one of the most efficient photovoltaic power backup systems available in the market offering up to 40% lesser power consumption and 50% reduction in electricity bills,” notes this description.
Besides these five, there are a myriad of other startups offering similar services.
However, any real attempt at scaling up the solar power infrastructure in India will require more than government subsidies for residential owners installing solar panels. Any genuine attempt at scaling up, particularly in rural areas, will necessitate the intervention of banks that can facilitate structured finance schemes for consumers wanting to install solar power installations, as they do for cars and smartphones.
Do let us know if you have made the switch, and how it worked out for you.
(Edited by Vinayak Hegde)