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Monday, Oct 14, 2019

Watt an idea: Ghatkopar society uses solar energy, saves ₹1.9 lakh a year on power bills

The eight-storey Arihant Darshan CHS installed a rooftop solar system in May to light up its common areas, staircases and elevator, which takes care of 80% of its requirement.

mumbai Updated: Jul 30, 2018 15:20 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
Residents of Arihant Darshan CHS stand beside their 11.05kWp rooftop solar plant.
Residents of Arihant Darshan CHS stand beside their 11.05kWp rooftop solar plant.(HT Photo)

Solar energy has helped a Ghatkopar-based housing society save ₹1.9 lakh annually on electricity expenses by covering 80% of the society’s electrical requirements.

10 simple energy-saving measures
  • Switch off lights and fans when not in use.
  • Ensure that the washing machine is used only to wash a full load of clothes.
  • Make sure your AC is set not lower than 24 degrees Celsius.
  • Don’t keep the door of your fridge open for a long period.
  • Keep your computer or laptop on sleep mode when not in use.
  • Use energy-efficient star-rated appliances.
  • Turn off all electrical appliances from the main switch and not just using the remote control.
  • Set the temperature of your fridge to medium for optimum cooling
  • Use LED bulbs to reduce energy consumption by up to 80%.
  • Use the leftover heat of your microwave to keep food warm for up to 30 minutes.

Arihant Darshan CHS in Ghatkopar (East), an eight-floor building, installed an 11.05 kilowatt peak (kWp) rooftop solar system to light up its common areas, staircases and an elevator.

After installing the solar system in the first week of May, the society’s monthly electricity bill fell from ₹17,917 prior to setting up, to ₹2,083 post the installation.

“Adopting rooftop solar technology is more than just about savings. The fact that it helps in reducing the carbon footprint is something that is truly motivating as a cause,” said Nemish Shah, chairman of the society.

The solar plant is spread across 1,500 sqft of the rooftop, uses 34 panels and generates 15,000 units (kilowatt hour kWh) annually. The society was consuming 18,000 units from the grid before the plant’s installation.

A net metering system installed by the society allows surplus power to be exported back to the grid while any deficiency is imported from the grid. At the end of the financial year, the society will be charged only for the ‘net usage’ by the power supplier. The entire system has a lifespan of 25 years.

According to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, an 11.05 kWp system can mitigate 338 tons of carbon dioxide emissions and is equivalent to planting 541 teak trees over its lifetime.

“It is not easy to convince people to adopt rooftop solar technology as the initial cost is high. It is generally misunderstood is that the solar system will be battery operated,” said Animesh Manek, founder and director, Avishakti Rooftop Solar Pvt Ltd, the company that installed the project.

Ramesh Patel, secretary of the society, said, “Avishakti explained how rooftop solar with net metering policy results in savings. As it is not a battery-based, it is not prone to the maintenance or replacement problems.”

Manek added that the entire cost of installation will be recovered over the next three to four years and thereafter the society will save on power consumption.

“Overall, solar power is free and a clean form of energy, resulting in zero environmental impact,” said Shah.

First Published: Jul 23, 2018 14:26 IST

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