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7 Reasons Why Installing Solar Panels on Your Roof Is a Good Idea

9 min read | By admin

Solar panel installation is a big commitment for homeowners. While most homeowners are aware of the benefits of switching to green energy, they often find themselves worrying about the cost of solar energy, the space required for it, its maintenance and what not. 

However, they don’t realize that solar is an economic investment, and not just spending. The financial benefits you get from having a rooftop solar power plant are way higher than its cost.

Benefits that your home will get from solar panels are as follows

1. Rooftop Solar Panel Installation Increases the Value of Your Home

Rooftop solar plants for homes are typically made of silicon solar cells and premium-quality tempered glass. The durable build makes a rooftop solar plant last for at least 25 years. During this period, your system pays off through guaranteed savings on electricity bills. Also, in some cases, it becomes an additional source of income as you can earn electricity credits which can be redeemed from your electricity bills in the future thus giving you extra liquidity.

With these advantages, your home becomes a lot more attractive to potential buyers in the housing sector. As a result, you can claim a better price of your home at any given time if you have a rooftop solar plant in your premises.

2. Solar Panels bring Energy Independence

Tired of sudden power outages or paying inflated electricity bills? A rooftop solar power plant for home combined with the  battery storage can create much-needed energy independence for you. No need to wait for electricity to power your cooling or heating units as you can use your electronics and appliances anytime you want with solar power. Such type of solar system with battery storage are called off-grid solar solutions. 

3. Zero Cost of Rooftop Solar Panel Installation

It’s no secret that the upfront cost of rooftop solar in India can go up to a lakh for a 2kWp system. However, a rooftop solar power plant for homes is a zero-cost investment in the long run. This seemingly giant amount will be offset over a period of 5-7 years, while you continue to lower your electricity bill for 20 to 25 years or more.

Moreover, generous subsidy schemes are available for solar rooftop systems for homes in several states to reduce the upfront solar costs for homeowners. Also, given the high power generation capacity and efficiency of modern solar panels, you can expect your system to give you higher generation and even quicker savings.

 

4. Low-Cost Maintenance With Longevity

The routine upkeep of your rooftop solar PV system is very little. The design of the rooftop solar structure is such that there aren’t any moving components. Hence, routine cleaning is all you need to do to keep the structure in the best functional condition. Your solar battery may need a little more attention, as regular inspection is necessary to timely address potential preventive maintenance. 

Even though your solar panels are exposed to elements of harsh climate, the rooftop solar system is designed to be highly resilient and durable. Most home solar installers will be able to provide 25 years of performance warranty on solar panels. 

5. Reduce the Pressure of Paying High Electricity Bills

The biggest reason homeowners are switching to residential solar rooftop systems is the huge potential for cost savings. As grid-electricity is getting more expensive, solar power has become a more affordable alternative for the many reasons discussed earlier. An on-grid solar system allows you to earn an additional income or electricity credits under net metering guidelines by transferring the surplus energy generated back to your local grid.

6. Government Subsidy on Solar Panels

Since the government of India aims to increase its solar capacity to meet its solar goals, subsidy schemes or Central Financial Assistance (CFA) are being offered along with additional state subsidy in many states. For example, if you are in Punjab, you can enjoy a CFA of 40% on buying a rooftop system of up to 3kW capacity. Whereas in Delhi, you can avail of a 30% subsidy on the same capacity of the solar system.

7. Environmental Benefits

It goes without saying that transitioning to renewable sources of energy like solar is a step towards saving the environment and protecting natural habitats. Unlike conventional sources of energy, which produce toxic emissions and generate even higher carbon emissions, solar is a clean source of energy with lesser carbon emissions. 

Having a rooftop solar power plant is a major advantage, and there is no doubt about it. With traditional electricity prices going up, a self-sufficient, solar-powered home can help you cut down on your utility bills without compromising on your lifestyle. 

Let HomeScape by Amplus Solar help you make the switch to green energy with our customized, built-to-last residential solar rooftop system. Backed by a 25-years of performance warranty, our system will give you huge savings on electricity bill from day 1. 

Our end-to-end solution ensures that having a solar system on your roof is hassle-free, rewarding, and convenient as possible. Whether you want to own a solar system without losing the roof space or desire a structure that adds to the beauty of your home or rooftop garden, we have a solar system to suit every home and lifestyle.

Contact our professional solar installers for a solar consultation today.

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How to Prepare Your Rooftop Solar Panel for Winters

9 min read | By admin

Your home solar panel system can work efficiently even in cold and harsh winters. All it needs is a little adjustment and maintenance. 

As winter sets in, the days get shorter and sunshine becomes scarce. This change in season also means that it’s time to prepare your rooftop solar system for the chilled and icy weather. Though it is known today that the prevalent solar panels are built to withstand all elements of weather and don’t suffer damages due to storms, rain, and even snow. With some routine solar panel maintenance, you can expect maximum output during winter season with no unexpected failures. Here’s how you can do it:

Monitor Your Energy Consumption

Although the amount of sunlight your home solar panel system gets is reduced during winter, it is still more than enough in many regions of our country for optimum solar generation. Start conserving energy by cutting down on your home’s excess electricity usage. This may be done in many ways.

Turn off your indoor and outdoor lighting if you don’t need it, and always use energy-efficient lighting fixtures and bulbs. Cover windows and doors with insulated drapes and curtains when using heating devices indoors to reduce heat loss.

Also, check your battery discharge levels as it’s recommended to not exceed the 80% discharge level. You can aim for a 50% level with lead-acid batteries and lithium-ion batteries. For areas experiencing harsher weather, you can even consider getting a backup generator to sustain on days when energy consumption is high.

Look after the Batteries

Deep cycle batteries often accompany your solar panels that require proper upkeep. Use antifreeze distilled water to keep your batteries alive, especially if you’re not connected to the grid, i.e. if you are using off-grid solar solution.

Also, regular battery service by a professional helps you stay ahead of sudden repairs. For lead-acid solar batteries for homes, keep an eye on voltage to ensure that any irregularities get timely attention. Also, periodically check battery temperature, which should be within the recommended range for efficient electricity storage and use.

Solar experts recommend having your solar batteries installed and stored indoors. It’s important not to let harsh weather affect the performance and lifespan of your lead-acid batteries and lithium-ion batteries. When you don’t need batteries in winter, you can disconnect and store your lead-acid batteries at 100% capacity. Keep your lithium-ion battery in a well-insulated area at a 40% discharge level.

Adjust the tilt and angle 

Due to the earth’s rotation and revolution, the sun in winter is at a lower angle. As a result, your solar panels don’t receive as much sunshine as they get in summer. To make the best of what little sunlight you get every day, you can use an adjustable rack to modify the angle of solar panels and tilt them a bit to absorb maximum sunlight during this period.

If this is your first experience of dealing with a residential solar system during winters, it is recommended that you reach out to your solar installer for information on your solar panels’ angular facing during the winter months.

Keep the Solar Panels Clean

Although solar systems don’t need much cleaning effort, it pays to periodically clean your panels during winter. If your region receives snowfall during the cooler months, ensure that you clear the snow covering your panels first thing in the morning so valuable sunlight isn’t lost in melting the snow away. You might also want to clean your panels weekly or fortnightly if your region has high dust and pollution levels. 

Use a soft brush for snowy days and a soft rag/mop on other days. Be careful not to damage your panels, and don’t use abrasive cleaning tools and products. You can again contact your solar installer for a demo of how to clean your solar system on your own without any professional help.

Talk to an Expert when needed

Solar batteries for homes require very little maintenance, which can go a long way towards getting the most value from your solar investment. Your solar company in Gurgaon or Delhi NCR should be able to offer more personalized tips to ensure optimum solar maintenance and performance of your home solar panel system

The best time to have your panel looked at by your solar company is right before winter. There can be debris or hidden anomalies that your solar expert will identify and remedy during a solar inspection. To keep your solar panels and batteries in excellent condition, you should get a routine inspection done at least twice a year.

Are you looking for experienced solar power companies in Delhi, NCR, or Gurgaon to solarize your home? Save on electricity from day one with our customized, no-hassle solar solution HomeScape by Amplus Solar. Backed by 25-years of performance warranty and a smart convenient customer app for remote monitoring and management, our rooftop solar panel system is designed for excellent aesthetic appeal and more efficient electricity generation.

Reach out to schedule a consultation today.

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Solar Subsidy for the Residential Sector in Punjab 2021 | HomeScape

7 min read | By admin

The Government of India is pushing the goal of a “solar-powered green city” in every state, and it notes that the idea is in line with the global solar energy trends. Solar panel subsidy in Punjab is an initiative to make clean and green energy affordable and accessible. Like many other states, the residents of Punjab also have an opportunity to increase their savings by eliminating high electricity bills and their dependence on the government grid.

Is There Any Subsidy on Rooftop Solar in Punjab?

The Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) offers subsidy support for grid-connected rooftop solar systems of capacity ranging from 1 kW to 10 kW. It is expected that solar panel prices in Punjab after subsidy will be more affordable for the residential sector consumers.

The subsidy/Central Financial Assistance (CFA) for a rooftop PV solar system will depend on the capacity of your solar system and its benchmarked cost or on the cost calculated through a competitive process, if lower.

  • For up to 3kW capacity of RTS system, the CFA applicable is 40% of the benchmark cost.
  • For systems of capacity ranging from 3kW to 10kW, the user will be eligible for a CFA of 40% for the first 3kW capacity. The additional 20% CFA will apply to the rest of the capacity above 3kW (i.e. up to 7kW). Capacities exceeding 10kW will not receive any subsidy.
  • The GHS (Group Housing Societies) / RWA (Residential Welfare Association) are eligible for availing 20% subsidy on benchmark cost, given that certain criteria are met. A single house can have a maximum 10kWp capacity of a rooftop solar plant. The total for the entire society should not exceed 500kWp.

It is important to note that power distribution companies (DISCOMs) are responsible for implementing the solar panel subsidy scheme in Punjab and other states. To be eligible for the above subsidies, your rooftop solar system must be installed by the vendors empanelled by PSEB.

Solar Subsidy Scheme in Punjab:

The solar subsidy by Punjab is available for the state residents who wish to switch to solar electricity.

For the domestic sectors, the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) will provide a maximum of 40% subsidy on benchmarked costs for installing rooftop solar power under net metering. Net metering doubles the benefits of going solar by saving you money and enabling you to earn more of it. Homeowners will first use the electricity generated through a rooftop solar system as per their requirement, and PSPCL will adjust your generated power from the total consumption. The net metering rules, however, are subject to change.

The PSPCL also notes that the solar rooftop subsidy scheme is only available for residential homeowners, registered societies, multi-story apartment buildings, and cooperative group housing societies. Non-residential sectors like educational, PSUs, private commercial, social, or industrial sectors are not eligible to benefit from the solar subsidy for homes in Punjab.

Conclusion:

Financial support for the country’s renewable sector is key to its goal for the clean energy transition. Although the current solar rooftop subsidy schemes are nearing the end of their allocation period, a new wave of support measures is likely to be . For these reasons, we can expect subsidy programs for the residential sector to continue for the foreseeable future.

Although the uptake of rooftop solar installations in residential sector has been slow, partly due to a lack of awareness about solar power and the subsidies available, the situation is expected to improve. As the state government strengthens its subsidy disbursement process, more houses will be solarized in the future.

Now is a great time to take advantage of the solar subsidy schemes for homes in Punjab. At HomeScape, we have years of expertise in installing aesthetically appealing highly durable grid-connected rooftop solar solutions customized to meet each homeowner’s needs. If you need help determining subsidized solar panel prices in Punjab for your residential space, we encourage you to book a consultation with us today.

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Why is a Site Survey required prior to installing a Solar Rooftop System?

5 min read | By admin

Solar rooftop systems and other sources of renewable energy are on the rise. Residential rooftop solar systems have proven to be environmentally sound and efficient for domestic households, along with monetary benefits such as saving on electricity bills and government subsidies.

Solar panels are generally placed on a rooftop or in an elevated position to ensure a steady and consistent supply of sunlight. This sunlight is then converted to DC electricity and then into AC electricity by an inverter.

To ensure domestic solar systems perform at optimum capabilities, solar providers must consider a variety of factors before going ahead with the installation. A Site Survey prior to installation gives service providers all the information they require to correctly install and operate a residential solar system, tailored to every customer’s specific needs.

The three main factors assessed during a site survey are:

  • Feasibility – is the solar plant installation feasible at the location?
  • Viability – does the solar installation provide financial benefits in the long term?
  • User requirements – are user requirements correctly understood?

Site surveys ensure that you have a rooftop solar power system designed specifically for your needs as per your location, rooftop space and the electricity required to power your home. HomeScape has three unique product variants that are tailor-made to fit your space: the Atrium, the Aerial and the Terra.

During a site survey our team determines the following factors:

  1. Shading Analysis

This helps determine the correct location to install a solar plant. The orientation and mounting of the solar panels determine the amount of incident sunlight which in turn contributes to the amount of electricity generated. The solar panels need to be shade-free to get the optimum performance from the solar photovoltaic system. The area must be assessed to ensure there are no barriers that cause shading on the panels.

  1. Roof Structure Inspection

This is done to measure the size and to determine the attributes and structure of the roof. The rooftop area and size of the panels determine how many solar modules can fit in the space available. We consider the following factors:

  • Surface Area (rooftop dimensions)
  • Roof Inclination
  • Roof Direction
  • Construction Material
  1. Usage Analysis

This is the overall analysis of required instruments such as DC and AC converters and electricity usage. This helps determine the overall generation of electricity and an estimate of the units of electricity that can be saved.

  1. Financial Analysis

Government has released many incentives and financial aids for the solar panel system users. The overall cost of installing and the economic viability of the system are other important parameters that are estimated during the site survey.

Conducting a site survey is the starting point for a rooftop solar power system installation for a home in India. Your site survey results and shading evaluation in combination with the energy audit helps you make an informed decision about switching to solar.

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The Lifespan of a Solar Plant

6 min read | By admin

When you are considering investing in solar electricity for your home, wondering how long solar panels last is a question that inevitably pops up. Studies have proven solar panels can last anywhere between 25 to 30 years — or sometimes more. HomeScape offers a 25-year warranty on all solar systems. However, this does not mean that the panels on your roof will stop producing electricity after a couple of decades. It just means their energy production will decrease by what solar panel manufacturers consider optimal to meet the average Indian family’s energy needs.

Solar panels produce less electricity as they age. This process is called degradation. Solar power plant degradation rates vary depending on the brand, as well as the climate where they are installed.

On average, solar panels degrade at a rate of 1% each year, which guarantees 90% production in the first ten years and 80% by year 25 or 30. However, a study conducted by The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) shows a more accurate picture of solar panel degradation. This study found that monocrystalline panels made after the year 2000 degraded at a rate of just 0.4%. This means, if you get superior quality monocrystalline panels, the panels suffer only 0.4% degradation a year, resulting in 88% operation of their original capacity after 25 to 30 years.

Just like a car that only runs for a certain number of kilometers or a piece of equipment that starts to lose its efficiency after some years, solar panel degradation is bound to happen. There are many ways you can extend the life of your solar power plant.

Tip #1: Team Up with a Trustworthy Solar Provider

The smartest way to ensure your solar panels work long-term is to partner with a well-respected solar installer that offers solid customer service. You want to be sure that you are working with certified industry experts that are going to install your system for the long run and with the utmost care, using high-quality panels and parts. This will go a long way for keeping the production of your solar electricity for home high throughout – and even beyond – the system’s life expectancy. HomeScape by Amplus Solar offers high-quality home solar plants, customized to fit the needs of your household.  

Tip #2: Keep Your Panels Clear of Debris and Other Damaging Materials

When your home solar plant is free from leaves, dirt, pollen, dust, bird droppings and falling branches, it generates electricity at maximum efficiency. Another factor you and your solar installer should consider when you’re designing your solar energy system is choosing a proper location. Try to avoid placing the panels near things that can cause physical damage, like the trees and bushes, which may speed up degradation. HomeScape by Amplus’ Site Management Team considers all your requirements and resources to help you make the correct decision when installing a solar power plant for home.  

Tip #3: Make Sure Your Panels Are Regularly Monitored and Maintained 

Though solar electricity for home is a relatively care-free investment, periodic maintenance checks and cleaning can also help extend the lifespan of the solar panels. It is imperative that you work with products and companies that practice proper methods for cleaning and maintenance. Doing routine maintenance checks will help keep your solar system’s panel performance, meters and other parts running at maximum efficiency. HomeScape by Amplus offers On-Site Visits and Maintenance for all its residential solar plants.

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Is Residential Rooftop Solar ready to take off Post Subsidy and Falling Equipment Costs?

5 min read | By admin

Rooftop Solar in India has been seeing a steady adoption, evident from the rising capacity addition every year. According to a Bridge to India report, India’s total commissioned rooftop solar capacity stood at 6130 MW as on September 2020, predominantly driven by the Commercial and Industrial segment. The Residential segment, which is in the nascent stage stands at 804 MW, which is approximately 14% of the total of 5880 MW of Rooftop Solar as on June 2020. However, with the changes in policy and business environment, the residential segment is poised to pick up the pace and is anticipated to have a significant share in the coming years.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) in 2019 launched the Phase-2 of Grid Connected Rooftop Solar Programme in which the Central Financial Assistance (CFA), or in other words subsidy, was accorded to the Residential sector. Phase-2 of the programme had revised the subsidy limits for individual residential houses to 40% for capacity up to 3 kW and 20% for capacity between 3kW to 10kW. The subsidy is based on either the benchmark cost mandated by the MNRE, or the discovered price in the tender, whichever is lower. The subsidy allows the homeowners to significantly reduce their share of the price paid for the rooftop solar system making it more affordable.

On the other hand, the equipment costs have significantly fallen over the past few years globally, which has been observed in India as well. The prices of solar panels which constitute almost 60% of project cost had fallen by almost 18% year-on-year as per Bridge to India.

18% year-on-year as per Bridge to India.   

Figure: Solar module prices (USD cents/W) Ref: Bridge to India

However, the drop in prices has been offset by safeguard duties in India against the import of solar modules to promote local manufacturing, which is also mandated as part of the Domestic Content Requirement (DCR). According to DCR, it is necessary to use indigenously manufactured solar panels to avail subsidy in solar projects. In addition to this, the shortage in supply has driven the prices higher during the second half of 2020. Despite temporary volatility in prices, the long-term reduction has helped Residential Rooftop Solar project costs to reduce significantly and help drive adoption. A major challenge that remains in adopting residential rooftop solar is the lack of awareness, which is being addressed actively by DISCOMS through community-level demand-aggregation programmes. Also, to make rooftop solar economically attractive, businesses in partnership with NBFCs offer financing options through EMIs at lower interest rates for longer tenures than traditional banks.  

Reference: Bridge to India

The percentage share of residential solar in the total rooftop solar capacity added in a year has been almost steady with it being at 11% in 2017, 10% in 2018 and 12% in 2019 and 14% up to June 2020. With the developments to promote residential segment, there is a strong sentiment for it to take off. Charukesh N R B Manager, Residential Solar

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