Summer leads to rising electricity bills as air conditioners run the entire day. There’s a simple way to reduce it – solar power.

Tapping into this is Sanjay Deshpande, whose house and office in Hubballi, Karnataka is completely powered by solar energy, leading to savings of almost Rs 2 lakh/year.

His two electric cars are also charged through this power. The architect has also installed 3kW solar panels on his farms, which helps in irrigation and running high power pump sets.

Sanjay’s tryst with solar power started in the 90s, as a student in Mumbai. He first set up a small solar panel to power his fan at home.

He used a panel of 12V and 40W which fetched him energy to run a table fan and bulb. “It saved me from the scorching heat and reduced my expenses,” recalls Sanjay.

The success of this experiment led to him slowly adapting to solar power at his hometown of Hubballi.

In 2001, he set up a solar water heater and panels to light his corridors and gardens in Hubballi. In 2007, he replaced his power inverter through solar energy.

When he moved to a new house in 2013, he installed 165w 36V solar panels that provided energy to run appliances at home like the TV, fans and lights.

The reduction in electricity bills prompted Sanjay and his wife, Suhasini, to convert their office into solar power as well by installing solar panels of 3kW capacity in 2020.

Through this, they are saving Rs 4,500 to Rs 5,000 monthly on electricity bills at their office. Similarly at home, they save almost Rs 18,000 per month, according to the couple.

In fact, their house now produces surplus energy, which is transferred to the HESCOM (Hubli Electricity Supply Company Limited) grid, for which they get Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 monthly.

Moving to EVs has led to reduction not just in fuel charges but also the electricity cost for charging the two cars used by the couple.

The architect says that people can start with micro solar panels first for basic purposes, before moving to an on-grid system.

He says that solar panels generate 60 percent of the energy needed even on cloudy or rainy days.