Solar Rooftop System Buying Guide
Consumer VOICE experts present you the most comprehensive solar rooftop system buying guide that tells about the solar panel price, cost of installation of solar panels on rooftop, metering, maintenance, link to the suppliers and contractors and much more.
WHERE TO START FROM FOR SOLAR ROOFTOP SYSTEM?
Currently, there are two ways through which an individual can install a rooftop solar system. One is the capital-expenditure model where an individual needs to make an upfront payment. For those who are unwilling or unable to put up the money, or where rooftop space is limited, there is the renewable energy servicing company (RESCO) model. In this, a terrace owner or group of owners allows a solar developer to install a plant at a common place. The plant is installed, owned and run by the company or investor, and the consumer pays for the cheaper power at around Rs 5 to Rs 6 per unit – this compares favourably against the Rs 7 to Rs 9 per unit for conventional supply from discoms.
INSTALLATION PROCESS OF SOLAR ROOFTOP SYSTEM
Step 01 Apply online.
Step 02 Empanelled agencies will contact you.
Step 03 Empanelled agency does pre-feasibility study.
Step 04 Agency will collect the balance cost payable by beneficiary after deducting subsidy payable by MNRE.
Step 05 Applicant has to pay connectivity charges and execute connectivity agreement with NDMC for net metering.
HOW TO CHOOSE A SOLAR ROOFTOP SYSTEM
The type and size of solar rooftop system depends on individual requirements/factors. These include
- Your power consumption
- Roof type
- Solar Resource
The right choice will depend on how much sunlight your area receives, your budget, how much conventional power you want to offset with solar power, and where the solar panels will be mounted.
Efficiency is an important parameter. This is a measure of the panel’s electricity output (in watts) compared to its surface area – basically how much solar energy is converted into electrical power, which is usually around 15 per cent to 20 per cent depending upon the sophistication of the panel. Generally, the higher the efficiency, the more power you can get from a given roof area, and you might have lower installation costs too. However, if you have plenty of roof space, you may find it more economical to buy cheaper panels with lower efficiency and just use more of them.
WHAT IS THE SOLAR PANEL PRICE?
The cost of a solar photovoltaic (PY) system will depend on many variables including the system size and the quality of components used. The approximate cost of a 1 kWp (kilowatt peak) rooftop solar PY project ranges from Rs 55,000 to Rs 87,000 for the state of Delhi – this includes installation charges but excludes cost of storage batteries (if required) and subsidy. The overall cost depends on the size of the project as rates are a little lower for a higher-size project. Prices of solar PY systems offered by various vendors can differ significantly.
COST OF EQUIPMENTS FOR A 1 KW OFF-GRID SOLAR SYSTEM
- Solar PY module (250 watt peak [wp] x 4 [number of systems]): Rs 36,000-Rs 40000/-
- PY module mounting structure (1 kW set): Rs 5,000
- Tubular batteries (150 Ah x 2 [number of batteries]): Rs 27,000-Rs 30,000
- Solar inverter (1.5 kilo-volt-amperes [KYA]): Rs 22,000-Rs 25,000
- Cabling and other accessories: Rs 10,000
- Transportation and installation: Rs 10,000
- The above mentioned costs will come with GST @ 5% extra
- Generating units per day = 4-4.5 units
- (Total project cost (subsidy + cost to consumer) of one off-grid rooftop solar system works out to
- Rs 55,000-Rs 87,000/kWp. Final cost will vary depending on quality of equipments/brands.)
SOLAR PANEL SUBSIDY
There is a subsidy of 30 percent of maximum benchmark cost – which is Rs 75,000 – per kilowatt (kW) or the actual project cost, whichever is lower, from the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE), to be routed through Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI). In Delhi, the local contractor will charge you after deducting the government-given subsidy, which they will later claim from the government.
WHO ARE THE SUPPLIERS/CONTRACTORS?
Please refer to this link for local agencies in various states:
WARRANTIES AND INSURANCE
Most solar electric systems come with a five- year guarantee and 25-year warranty, but maintenance may be required to comply with a manufacturer’s warranty.
RENEWABLE POWER NET IMPORT/EXPORT BILL
The consumer can download the solar net- metering rooftop application form from the websites of DISCOMs. The consumer will receive a net import/export bill indicating either net export to the grid or net import from the grid. The consumer will settle the same as per existing norms.
In net metering, the excess solar energy is exported to the grid. This excess solar energy is deducted from the energy imported from the grid subject to certain conditions. The consumer pays for the net energy imported from the grid. The consumer shall be paid for net energy credits that remain unadjusted at the end of the financial year at the rate of average power purchase cost (APPC) of the distribution licensee for the respective year on provisional basis. The consumer shall settle the same as per existing norms. Discom will pay the consumer for surplus power generated which remain unadjusted at the end of financial year as per existing regulation. The trued-up price by Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) was Rs 5.00 per unit for FY 2015-16.
HOW TO MAINTAIN SOLAR ROOFTOP SYSTEM
Proper maintenance of your system will keep it running smoothly. Most vendors recommend a yearly maintenance check by your installer.
Solar panel may need to be cleaned in climates with infrequent rainfall.
- Improve the energy efficiency in your home to save up to 30 per cent on your bills. You can do this by turning off appliances and using energy-efficient appliances/lights.
- Assess what energy you currently use and the system capacity you need (and can afford).
- Check if your roof faces the right direction. North-facing panels will produce to their full capacity.
- Ensure there are no trees, power lines or other structures shading your roof.
- Try to figure out your system’s payback time.
- Are you planning to install a storage battery, so you can store the solar-generated electricity for nighttime use? Check the latest calculations on home-battery storage and payback time.
- Get multiple quotes from installers to ensure you are getting a good deal.
- Make sure the installer is accredited by the government and that the panel meets the required standards.
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