As announced in the budget, individuals participating in the recently introduced government rooftop solar initiative will receive a monthly allotment of 300 units of complimentary electricity, leading to potential annual savings of up to Rs 18,000.
While this is a government scheme, one can install solar panels on their rooftop, especially if they are living in their own house, and save on electricity bills.
Before taking the plunge, however, it's crucial to understand the investment involved and how it translates into monetary gain. Let's break down the initial costs, estimated savings, and key factors to consider for your solar journey.
The upfront cost of solar panels forms a significant hurdle. While varying based on factors like system size, panel efficiency, and additional components, the starting point is typically Rs 75,000- Rs 80,000 per kilowatt (kW) installed.
This includes the cost of the panels themselves, but remember, it's not the only piece of the puzzle. There are other costs involved as well. At present, the government provides a 40 per cent subsidy on rooftop solar installations.
Inverters: The heart of converting DC solar power to AC usable in homes, inverters add Rs 20,000-50,000 to the total depending on capacity.
Mounting Structure: Whether your roof requires a rooftop mounting structure or ground-mounted system, budget Rs 10,000-30,000 for this crucial support system.
Optional Battery Storage: If you want uninterrupted power even during grid outages, battery storage adds a significant cost, ranging from Rs 50,000- to Rs 2 lakh depending on capacity.
Installation Charges: Skilled professionals ensure proper system installation, typically costing Rs 20,000- Rs 1 lakh based on system size and complexity.
While the initial investment might seem daunting, consider the long-term benefits. The key driver is your average monthly electricity consumption. Homes consuming more generally see greater savings.
Additionally, net metering, where excess power gets sold back to the grid, further boosts your wallet.
Also, solar panels require minimal maintenance. Regular cleaning (three times a year) and occasional inverter checks are sufficient. Annual servicing by a professional is recommended, costing around Rs 2,000-3,000.
Given these variables, a typical household with a two to three-kilowatt (kW) system and net metering could expect monthly savings of Rs 4,000-8,000.
In ideal scenarios, recouping the initial cost within five to seven years is a realistic possibility. Remember, this is just an estimate, and consulting a solar installer for a tailored assessment is crucial.
While the initial cost demands careful consideration, remember that solar panels are a long-term investment.
Beyond financial benefits, they contribute to a cleaner environment by reducing dependence on fossil fuels.