I have been writing on design, lifestyle, and a bit of my passions so far. There's something a little bit different that I want to explore, however, that should definitely interest anyone who runs a household: taking control of expenses. Most of us probably think of words like budgeting, savings, spreadsheets, tracking, and so on.
For most people though, electricity is not viewed as an unnecessary expense; but everyone should be thinking of it this way. Sound strange? Well, if you have the option to save meaningfully on power, it tends to become an avoidable cost. I'm not referring to the usual classroom initiatives from grade school, like switching off lights when not in use. I'm talking about substantial savings of 40-50% off your Meralco bill: enter solar energy.
Going green means saving your green
Photo: Baker Renewable Energy
Without getting too full-blown scientific, all we need to know is that solar panels are devices that convert sunlight into DC electricity, which is then converted into AC electricity, via an inverter—and is ready to flow out of our power outlets at home for appliances. Since the input is sunlight and the output could be anything from lights to TVs to even air conditioning, it's just as good for our wallets as it is for the environment.
Your Meralco bill can be lower
Installing a solar power plant on your roof gives you access to generation fuel (sunlight) which is clean, and—most importantly from a savings point of view—free. You will be able to capture your savings through your Meralco bill, which should be considerably lower than your monthly average after installing the right solar system for your home. And guess what? The panels last for 25 years! That's indeed a lot of savings.
Additionally, to boost your savings, Meralco and other big power utilities have a program called net metering, which allows you to sell any excess generation back to the grid. This has the effect of further lowering your bill even when you're not immediately consuming the power. The best part about it is it's a "set and forget" type of deal: your home switches between the grid and your solar panels seamlessly.
Why it makes sense for Philippine homes
It's no secret: our power rates are among the worst in Asia, and the absolute highest within ASEAN. Additionally, having your own personal power generation means that every homegrown kilowatt hour produced also cuts out other costs packed into your power rate. What you are paying for, other than the electricity, are Meralco's operations; the cost of the national power grid; VAT on your power; and so much more! If you really think about it, this is the first time that households can take matters into their own hands and proactively improve power rates.
Choose a professional installer and avoid DIY solutions; it's worth your peace of mind!
A DIY kit can be a fun endeavor for parents and kids alike. Say, a DIY aquarium or DIY gardening for your home that can double as creative bonding experiences. But electrical components can be tricky, and more importantly, highly dangerous. Best to leave it to the experts! Choose your installers based on their respective areas of expertise.
You should avoid informal installers that sell their goods on the street or approach you at checkout at your local Home Depot. A lot of unscrupulous sellers sell junk panels, which normally do not produce what the advertised capacity and which only last for about 5-10 years, if you're lucky. Look for reputable companies who only sell 'Tier One' components; this helps ascertain that they are knowledgeable and care about the long-term success of your installation.
Find the right provider for your needs
Some solar companies are focused on manufacturing or building large scale power plants. Others focus specifically on residential installations and small to mid-sized power users for business. The more focused the solar company is on your type of market, the better the fit would be when customizing the solution to your needs. Try LuminAsia Renewables & Green Energy at http://lumin.asia or http://facebook.com/luminasia.renewables/
While there is plenty more to learn about solar power investment, it is definitely a worthwhile study that can have sustainable benefits both for your pocket and for the environment. Ultimately, these are the win-wins that make the world a better place.