Chembur society inspires others to go the green wayUpdated: Oct 28, 2019, 00:25 IST
A residential society in Chembur has not only switched to solar power to reduce their electricity bill to zero, but also convinced seven other societies in their neighbourhood to go the green way.
The 13-storey Aashutosh Co-operative Housing Society (CHS) — part of Neelkanth Vihar Complex in Tilak Nagar — which houses more than 150 residents installed a 20 kilowatt-power (kWp) system with 60 panels across a 2,000 square-foot rooftop area in August this year. The solar energy system is used to power lights across all common areas, water pumps, lifts, etc.
Ever since they installed the system, their monthly bill of ₹45,000 in September dropped to just the fixed meter cost of ₹955 plus taxes in October. This is what prompted seven other societies to switch to solar energy.
“Being an extremely cost-effective solution to avoid polluting sources of electricity such as coal and fossil fuels, such installations do not need maintenance for 25 years if they are properly planned and installed,” said D Murali, a resident of Aashutosh CHS, and solar facilitator for the society. “After understanding the savings from our project and site visits, seven societies within Neelkanth Vihar complex decided to go ahead with their respective solar projects and will begin construction soon,” added Murali, who was the one to initially come up with the whole idea.
Solar energy is a free source of renewable energy which does not cause pollution and instead, reduces carbon emissions that come from burning coal, gas and oil for electricity generation. According to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), a 20-kWp system mitigates carbon dioxide emissions by 615 tonnes, which is equivalent to planting 984 full-grown teak trees during its lifetime.
“We now have a green building tag after adopting solar and savings from the project are going to be used for water conservation through rainwater harvesting and recycling wastewater from the kitchen,” said Murali.
The society currently consumes 50 units of electricity daily, while the solar system generates 90 units. “The remaining units are sent back to the grid using a net-metering system, which allows surplus power generated by solar to be exported back to the grid. Any deficiency is imported from the grid. Thus, excess units can be used during monsoon months when solar power generation is low,” said Murali.