With visible effects of climate changes and growing concerns over global warming, people from different walks of life are collectively doing their part to save the environment and switching to alternative and sustainable sources of energy.
A housing society in Mumbai has switched to solar energy, a move that will help them save upto ₹5 lakh per annum on electricity bills. That means a monthly savings of ₹ 41,000.
For representational purposes. Source: Wikimedia
The residents of Grace Co-operative housing society in Mulund West have installed solar panels that not just light up the elevators but also the common areas for the five buildings which comprise the society premises.
Residents of 160 apartments have set up a 29.4 kWp (kilowatt power) solar installation with 94 panels at a cost of ₹18.5 lakh, which will be capable of producing 45,000 units of electricity in a year; i.e. 120 units daily.
“We expect to recover the cost of installation over the next three years. We will also be recovering Rs 5 lakh through subsidy provided by Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) as per government rules,” said KV Mujumdar, resident and committee member told Hindustan Times.
Apart from switching to sustainable sources of energy, the society residents have also taken up segregating their organic waste and recycling it. The resultant manure is used for the trees planted within the complex.
“Other than saving on electricity bills, we are also trying to reduce our carbon footprint. India has signed the Paris climate accord and it’s our duty to fulfill the nation’s commitment,” said SC Shrivastava, the secretary of the society. “Our long term goal is to save future generations from ill effects of climate change.”
Close to 3.28 lakh kg organic waste that includes both horticultural and kitchen waste, has been recycled by residents in the past three years.
Only the dry waste leaves the compound, which is collected by the civic body’s dumper truck daily.
For representational purposes. Source: Max Pixel
“We are following a zero waste concept as there is 100% waste segregation in the society. Our wet waste is being converted into manure at four compost drums where waste is churned with the help of various enzymes,” said Rani Pandit, a resident. “We will soon begin plastic segregation too.”
Using a net-metering system, that allows solar power users to feed unused electricity back into the grid, the society will only be charged by the power supplier for the ‘net usage’ at the end of the financial year. This will prove beneficial for other areas in the city, especially where electricity supply is in short supply.
“Therefore, excess electricity will compensate areas facing power cuts in the city,” said Dhaval Gori from Aditya Green Energy, a solar energy solutions provider that had set up the plant.
Keeping up with environmental concerns, the residents have also estimated reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the project. “The use of green energy will reduce almost 30 tonnes of CO2 emissions in a year, which is equal to planting 1,250 trees,” said Mahesh Rathore, treasurer of the society.