Congratulations! Considering going solar is the first step to a cleaner and more environment-friendly home and Philippines. But before you hit “add to cart” and install your solar energy system, here are the things you must carefully consider to fully maximize your investment.
Where you put your solar energy system is one of the important factors you need to study. You should note possible obstructions like trees, electrical posts, high buildings, hills, among others. The location also determines the amount of sunlight your system is going to get. The latitude, height, and azimuth all come to play in installing your solar energy system. You also need to determine key moments of sunlight to maximize energy production, as well as the weather and the occurrence of disasters in your area. These considerations may influence if you may want to install a solar battery system in case of long power interruptions and low sun-peak hours.
2. House Specifics
Know the material that was used to build your home. Be also informed about your house’s installation for it affects your Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) System. This consideration includes your roof, the typical placement of your solar energy system. Take note of the roof type, materials, surface area, space, and inclination for examples. If your roof cannot support your system, you can try a detached garage, patio cover, or building a set-up on the ground.
The type, amount, and size of your solar energy system will heavily depend on your household members’ lifestyles. How you consume power, like the amount of electricity used and evidenced by your electric bills, will greatly affect how you choose your solar energy system. Also take into account how long you will live in your house since it commonly takes 5-6 years before you recoup your initial outlay. Remember that a solar energy system is a long-term investment.
Avoid getting fined and/or a pricey redoing of your solar energy system by having the right permits, legal documents, and by following the various codes and laws applicable in installing and maintaining solar energy systems. Observe the National Structure Code of the Philippines 2015 or Building Code of 2015, Standard Electrical Codes, and the Philippine Fire Code. Obtain permits from your Local Government Unit (LGU). Prepare and have your proof of property, building permit, electrical permit, and even the sanitary permit.
The specifics of these will greatly affect your Return of Investment (ROI). Like how we buy essential products, one needs to know the various brands, companies, sizes, types, aesthetics, and durability to be able to have reasonable comparisons.
Only consider trusted suppliers, installers, and contractors. But how are you going to know if they are legitimate? Well, you can search if they are licensed, bonded, and have the proper registrations. Know if they offer planning, inspection, installation, regular servicing and maintenance. Also see if they offer reasonable and long warranty (10 years is a good period). You should also take note of how many years they are in the business and how they operate. Know if they have any awards, see the reviews and testimonials, and their complaints, if they have any. Also, a company with good social responsibility and is a member of industry organizations has a higher chance of being a great company.
You need to do a lot of prep work in order to have a successful installation , not doing so may cost you a high price. You will need to prepare your roof, wiring, racks and mounts, among others.
You also need to consider the duration of the whole project from inspection, and planning to installation and the start date. The whole project can take at least a few days depending on the type, size, and amount of your solar energy system. Some bigger projects even take weeks to complete, and even months. The competency and number of solar professionals working on your project also come into play.
9. Net Metering
This is how you ‘profit’ from your solar energy system, given that you do not want to go the other way which is storage of excess energy into the solar battery system. In a nutshell, you sell the excess power your system generates back to the grid. Utility companies like Meralco then pay you in form of ‘credits’ which you can use in periods when your system does not generate enough electricity for your household needs. To apply and utilize the net metering system, you need to coordinate with your solar company, city hall, and utility company. After a thorough inspection, that’s the only time your meter will be replaced.
Because a solar energy system is an investment, it costs a substantial amount. A household that has an electric bill around PHP 5,000 may need a solar energy system that costs PHP 150,000 including needed professional services and supplementary materials. But fret not because there are banks that offer loans that you can take advantage of.
The following are just a few general factors you need to consider in going solar. The specifics of each consideration are much longer like the various sections of the building, fire, and electrical codes or the technical aspect of the solar energy system.
We acknowledge the proliferation of Do It Yourself (DIY) tutorials especially on the internet. Yes, some of them teach the right things, but this needs careful research to be able to distinguish the good ones.
Teaching, learning, and applying are three various things. YouTube tutorials may provide correct technical instruction and guidance especially if they are from solar professionals, but learning them as a lay person is a different matter, much so applying them on your own. Instead saving money by going DIY, it may cost you your whole solar energy system investment, or, worse, your and your loved ones’ safety.
That is why SolarWisePH is committed to helping you in any of your solar energy needs. As a professional, registered, and licensed company, we offer education pertinent to solar energy systems and we connect you to trusted solar energy system suppliers, installers, and contractors. Wherever and whenever you are in your solar energy journey, we and our partners are here for you!