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Home Solar System: A Complete Guide About Benefits, Price, Subsidy in India

33 min read | By admin

Harness  the solar power abundantly present around you with the best solar system for your home in India. Investing in a home solar system is a time taking thoughtful process and requires major  commitment. While it produces long-term results, it also requires every homeowner to consider multiple options and choose the one that enables easy solar transition.

Use of solar technology is popular for its immense potential in power generation thus saving energy costs, and the support you get from the government in terms of subsidies. Now  is the right time to switch to solar. Follow our complete home solar system guide to make an informed decision. 

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    What is a Home Solar System?

    Home solar systems are a breakthrough in harnessing the power of the sun and channelizing it for the betterment of our environment. Solar is a popular alternative power source, and home solar power systems have come a long way in terms of energy generation efficiency and reduced initial investment to make solar cost-effective and rewarding for individual homeowners.

    The various components that make up a residential solar plant include solar photovoltaic panels (PV modules), inverter, batteries (in case of off-grid solar solution), module mounting structure (MMS) , bi-directional meter, and tools for the balance of the system. Constant improvements in solar technology have made solar components highly versatile, durable, and suitable for nearly any climate and property type.

    Benefits of Solar System for Home

    Solar electricity powering our homes is the future! Solar is advantageous not only for our pockets but also for the climate. Energy savings is the biggest motivator for homeowners to opt for this green energy technology. 

    Saves money – Solar helps you save substantial amount of money in annual electricity costs and can pay back your initial investment in just 6-8 years. Eventually, you not only recover your initial solar plant cost for your home but continue to produce your own low-cost domestic electricity that increases the return on your solar investment during its lifespan.

    Adds value to the home – Solar is an attractive upgrade to your home and an amazing selling point if you decide to market the property in future. A property installed with solar plant  also impact buyers’ property purchase decisions as the buyer would want to purchase a house with in-built operational solar plant for home. A solar powered home producing cost-effective  electricity for years will attract more potential buyers.

    Freedom from the grid – Using a solar system for your home in India can give you independence from the  grid. You can choose to completely go off the grid or reduce your dependence on it by producing your own domestic electricity through a home solar power system with battery storage technology. It will keep your home powered even during unannounced power cuts.

    Cost-effective – Owning and maintaining a solar plant in your home is hassle-free. Solar systems of present times are highly durable and weather-resistant, with a lifespan of over 30  years. With regular  cleaning and minimal maintenance, your solar panels ensure years of efficient electricity production for all your domestic needs.

    Environment friendly: The traditional process of generating electricity using coal as a fuel releases tons of toxic gases into the environment and causes air pollution. Using renewable energy sources like solar is definitely the best way to cut down on emissions and save the environment. 

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      How a Solar Setup for Home Works

      Simply put, solar PV systems are advanced power generation stations that have solar panels to absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity and other components to give you the usable supply to power your appliances.

      How a Solar Setup for Home WorksSolar systems work  on the principle of the photoelectric effect. Solar panels are the main workhorses in a home solar setup and work to generate electricity. Each solar panel is composed of a collection of solar PV cells that efficiently capture sunlight. Each PV cell is made up of semiconducting material. As light falls upon this material, it sets electrons in motion that cause the electric current to flow within the material – called the photoelectric effect. The wiring among solar cells across the solar arrays on your roof captures this electric current and results in the generation of DC electricity.

      Since your home appliances and electronics don’t work on DC current, the energy passes through a solar inverter to get converted into AC current before subsequently consumed in the house, transferred to the grid, or stored in solar batteries for backup electricity. 

      How to Choose the Best Solar System for Your Home?

      Your reasons for considering a home solar power system will dictate what type of system will work best for you. Evaluating each type of solar system in connection with your yearly power consumption and the solar plant cost for your home will help you make a confident decision.

      Suppose your monthly electricity bill is your biggest pain point, and you are considering solar to bring down the overall energy cost. In that case, a grid-connected home solar system will help you reduce your dependence on the grid. At the same time, you can enjoy net metering benefits (more on this in the FAQs). 

      An off-grid solar system is an independent power bank for homes and can be set up  anywhere where the grid hasn’t reached. Batteries are essential to maintaining the availability of surplus power at all times of the day. For this reason, your solar installer will recommend a higher capacity unit to generate ample power all year round. 

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        Types of Home Solar Systems

        Finding the best solar system for your home in India requires you to make an informed choice among the different types of residential solar PV plants. On-Grid, Off-Grid, and Hybrid are the three main types, and each comes with its own set of pros and cons.

        On-Grid Home Solar System

        This is the most popular solar system for houses that are already getting regular power supply from the local grid. Upgrading to a grid-connected solar plant  allows you to draw energy from your solar plant as well as the grid as you’re connected to both through the net metering system. The two main components in a grid-connected solar system are solar PV module  and a solar inverter. Although this solar setup for homes is  cost-effective, a drawback is that you don’t have  solar batteries to keep you running during power outages..

        Off-Grid Home Solar System

        An off-grid is the best solar system for homes located in remote locations away from the grid. You achieve absolute energy independence by empowering your home with its own solar power bank. Off-grid or stand-alone systems work independently, without any intervention from the government grid. Since you entirely depend on your solar system for power in all seasons, one or more solar batteries are included in your setup, increasing the total solar plant cost for homes to ensure that you always have surplus energy to use on low–production days and at nights.

        Hybrid Home Solar System

        As the name suggests, a hybrid solar structure is a combination of both on-grid and off-grid units – meaning it is connected to the government grid and has a battery backup too. Homeowners who don’t want to depend on electricity providers and don’t want to be affected by power cuts go for hybrid systems. Since it has the most number of components, including devices for net metering, battery backup, cables, and more, they cost the highest among all types of home solar systems. 

        Reasons to Get a Solar System for Home

        There are endless reasons that make solar an advantageous option for homes. Among all the renewable energy sources, solar promises long-term financial and environmental advantages for homeowners.

        • Solar power is a free, sustainable energy source.

        The conventional energy sources are strained as we try to meet the rising energy demand. However, solar is a more economical, environmentally friendly, and financially beneficial alternative. Its complete advantages unfold in the long term, where homeowners get a reliable 24/7 electricity supply, reduced utility cost, and zero carbon emissions. 

        • Solar can eliminate grid dependence.

        Many remote locations don’t have access to the government electricity grid. By investing in a home solar system kit in India, you can achieve energy independence and get low-cost solar electricity. You can further ensure electricity is available during the night hours and on rainy days by getting solar battery storage systems.

        • Solar power reduces electricity loss.

        Not many know that valuable units are lost during electricity transmission from big power plants via extensive networks to the end customers. With a rooftop solar setup for your home, your electricity becomes domestic as the power-generating panels are positioned right above your home, meaning almost no  energy units loss and a short transmission distance.

        • Solar power increases grid security.

        As more and more homes transition to solar power, blackouts or brownouts will be few.. Opting for battery backup will enable you to remain unaffected by blackouts in the case of a grid-connected solar system for your home in India.

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          How to Set up Home Solar System

          When planning to switch to renewable energy sources, you must abide by some key steps to get the maximum benefit of solar systems for home electricity. 

          • Analyse your home’s energy efficiency

          A complete energy audit of your home by a trusted electrician will help you determine the different uses of electricity in your home and if you are losing valuable units in the process. Also, investigate what all appliances and lighting systems you use are of old, low-efficiency models and consider replacing them.

          • Find out your home’s solar potential

          Although modern solar technology effectively captures both direct and scattered sunlight to produce energy, some homes might not have enough solar potential to make the investment worthwhile. Check if your roof gets enough sunshine during the day, as well as nearby trees and plants that might cast shade on your solar panels. 

          Homes built a long time ago can have compromised roofs that need to be replaced immediately or in a couple of years. Also, if the local homeowners association regulates your home, make sure you check with them about the suitability of getting a personal solar system for your home.

          • Options for using Solar

          When you’re ready to power your home with solar, purchasing your own home solar system isn’t the only option available. Multiple solar programs are on offer to make the solar transition comfortable and smooth, even if you rent a home or don’t want to invest a large amount in installation. 

          If you are part of a community, the households together can opt for a shared solar set for homes. Solar leases are also available for individuals who can’t afford the system but would prefer leasing one. Alternatively, you can enter into a power purchase agreement – a third party agreement wherein the ownership lies with a third party who puts the solar equipment on your rooftop for a monthly rent.

          Solar Plant Cost for Homes in India

          Wonder how much the solar system costs? Here are figures of what the market costs look like for different solar systems for homes. Ranging from 1kWp capacity to up to 10 kWp for residential use, factors like the size of your property and its energy consumption needs will decide the right home solar power system and the components it will have to suit you and your family.

          • Solar brand, location, promotions, and availability directly impact the solar plant prices for homes. 
          • Also, note that the above prices are exclusive of state and national government subsidy schemes and other financial assistance programs.

          Home Solar Subsidy in India

          The government of India is chasing a target of a cumulative capacity of 4 GW from rooftop solar (RTS) projects by 2022. Solar subsidy adds greatly to the long list of advantages of their green energy alternative. If you have been on the fence about solar due to its overwhelming initial investment, the solar system for home prices in India after subsidy is worth considering. 

          The new simplified rooftop scheme by MNRE gives individual solar buyers the liberty to choose from rooftop solar companies in India to get solar plants for homes. The homeowner will have to notify the local DISCOM and submit an application for the intended Rooftop Solar installation to initiate the subsidy reimbursement process.

          Suppose your solar vendor suggests you go for a grid-connected solar plant of up to 3 kWp capacity for your energy needs. In that case, you will be eligible for a 40% subsidy (also called Central Financial Assistance) on the benchmark cost of the solar plant for your home. There is a 20% subsidy for units above 3 kWp and up to 10 kWp. However, the benchmark cost varies across states and so does the subsidy rate according to the state solar policy. Hence, it’s important to connect with an experienced solar company that can ensure that you take advantage of government-provided financial assistance and reduce the total price of solar power for your home.

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            FAQs – Your Common Questions Answered

            How do I figure out the amount of solar energy I’ll need?

            Your home solar system in India should generate ample electricity to fulfil your average annual electricity consumption. Review your electricity bills for at least the past 1 year to figure out your electricity needs. You can even ask your solar vendor for guidance or, better yet, an estimate.

            What is net metering in an on-grid solar system for the home?

            Since solar panels only generate power during the sunshine hours, a net-metered solar plant for the home allows you to draw power from the grid when solar power generation is not sufficient on any day. Conversely, unused units are transferred to the grid for solar credits on excess solar production days. The net meter records both the direction of energy flow when sending you the final monthly bill.

            What if my roof doesn’t get enough sun?

            Solar systems for some houses may be unfavourable if the roof doesn’t get enough sunshine due to major constraints like shade cast by the neighbour’s property or unfavourable facing of the roof. A solar installer can better evaluate your roof’s solar potential or might suggest you join a community solar farm that offers the advantages of solar without installing panels on your roof.

            How long is the payback time on the best solar systems for homes in India?

            The standard payback period is 6-8 years for solar-powered households. However, factors like the cost of grid electricity for your area, the cost of your solar system, method of payment (if you took a loan or lease), and your electricity consumption needs can influence your payback time. Regardless of it all, the 25 years of reliable, cheap, and significant energy output make solar advantageous for the most.

            How long will my solar panels last?

            Many solar companies will cover your home solar power system with a 25 years performance warranty. Although their energy output efficiency might start to decline after the initial years, they will still give 85% of their original production quantity throughout its lifespan of 25 years, after which the output will decline, but the panels will still generate some electricity.

            Are components in the solar system for home electricity backed by warranties?

            The standard warranty for solar panels is 25 years. However, the other components like the inverter and batteries are also backed by significant product warranties that vary across brands. Your installer will also provide a workmanship warranty on the solar installation work.

            Is solar maintenance costly?

            Keeping your solar setup for your home up and running requires periodic cleaning and maintenance. However, major failures in rooftop solar structures are unlikely as solar panels don’t have any moving parts. Also, your solar provider will cover your routine service needs with an AMC package. This maintenance package includes periodic inspections and other comprehensive services that help prevent downtime, maximise the system’s performance, and extend the life of your home solar plant.

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