Residential Solar Panels to Power Your Home
India has a total untapped rooftop solar potential of 180 GW from its roofs’, still, we are far behind from realizing it. If we can realise it fully, India can fulfill the electricity needs of 80% of its households.
But what is withholding the mass adoption of solar plants for homes? Why despite the government’s policy support, net metering, solar subsidy, people are still skeptical about installing solar plants at their homes?
Some of the reasons for lack of adoption for solar plants at home are
• Solar tariff for residential sector is equivalent or lower than solar power tariff: Per unit cost of electricity for residential is between Rs 4-5, so it is not the priority of homeowners to install solar panels on their roofs, especially with the high ticket size of the solar plant, but considering it as a long term investment, solar plant can give you electricity for free for 25 years of the plant life.
• Solar Plants are considered as Commercial & Industrial products: Many people still consider Solar plants as products for commercial use. But, that’s not true. Nowadays homeowners are adopting solar plants for their personal generation and consumption. They are becoming “prosumers”.
• Lack of awareness about policy, billing, metering: There are still doubts in people’s mind about solar policy, whether they will be receiving electricity bills from the DISCOM, about net metering, will they get money if they supply electricity to the grid, etc.
• Operational and maintenance issues: Solar panels have a utility life of 25 years, and it can last up to 35 years in some cases. In such cases, homeowners become hesitant of the O&M of the solar plant. Also, what if it breaks down? How will the power be restored in such cases? These issues are still hovering in the minds of the potential consumers of the solar plant.
• Lack of reliability on solar plant installers: Fear of installation of sub-standard quality of solar panels at homes is another major setback plaguing residential solar segment in India. Solar Panels for homes have a utilization life of more than 25 years. If you got substandard quality solar plant installed at your home, then the whole solar system is a waste of money and you lose your roof as well.
Difference between Residential & C&I Solar Plant
A commercial solar power plant can power a full office setting with HVAC, lighting, etc with millions of square footages of area. Similarly, an industrial solar project can power even an energy-intensive warehouse, manufacturing units, etc which might need thousands of units of electricity daily. However, a residential solar plant differs dramatically in terms of scale and cost. A residential solar system can vary in terms of capacity and size. It starts with as low as 1 KW solar system to more than 50 KW. Owing to their relatively smaller scale, rooftop solar panels for home are an achievable energy upgrade that can result in huge savings in electric bills for residential solar plant customers at any income level. C&I solar plant, on the other hand, require a major investment for the solar project.
Benefits of Solar Panels at Home
Huge Savings: A lot has been said about the savings in the electricity bill.
Cools your home: Not many people recognize this until you install solar panels on your roofs. Solar panels on roofs insulate your home by providing an air pocket that saves you from direct sunlight which eventually lowers your air conditioning needs.
Better returns: The returns you can get after installing solar panels on your rooftops is better than any non-risky investments like fixed deposit, etc.
Free from power outages: Solar plant at home frees you from unregulated power cuts if it is supported by battery storage.
Good for the environment: Solar energy is considered to be the clean energy as no carbon emissions were produced while generating solar power.
Step by step guide for home solar system
• Consider energy efficiency for your home first: Prior to installing solar panels, homeowners should try to analyze their energy usage and consider all possible easy ways to increase energy efficiency measures for their homes. Some of the ways include changing all lighting to efficient LEDs, 5 stars rated ACs, and other appliances, etc.
• Estimate your electricity requirements: From electricity bills, homeowners should analyze and get an idea of how many units of electricity do they consume in a month on an average.
• Estimate your rooftop solar capacity: Once you get an idea of your electricity usage, estimate how much capacity of the solar plant is appropriate for your home.
• Check applicable solar subsidy for your home: To check applicable solar subsidy for your home, check MNRE website, your state’s solar policy, and consult solar installers, who will support you in getting solar subsidy for your solar plant.
• Estimate savings through Solar Calculator: Now that you an idea of your solar capacity and electricity needs, it’s good to check how much percentage of electricity bills can be saved by installing solar panels on your rooftop by using this solar calculator.
• Estimated Price of Solar Systems for Home in India
- Price of 1 KW solar system: 1 KW solar plant generally cost you Rs 60-70,000
- Subsidy on 1 KW solar system: Rs 20,000/ KW
- Maximum Subsidy one can get is for 10 KW solar system: Rs 1,30,000 for 10 KW