Saving on power bill with ‘rooftop generators’

SHAH ALAM: A retiree whose electricity bill used to be around RM1,200 a month is smiling now because it has gone down to about RM200 a month after he had 25 solar panels put up.

Kenny Ho, 66, started sweating over his power bills ever since the MCO was implemented.

“My three adult children live with my wife and I and during the MCO, they had to work from home and everyone needed air-conditioning to focus on their work because of the heat,” he said yesterday.

With working from home becoming a way of life, his power bill in his Kota Kemuning home stayed high despite efforts to bring it down.

After meeting a friend who was satisfied with installing solar panels, Ho decided to do the same.

“The contractor came to my corner lot house with a drone to study my roof, check the arc of the sun’s travel against the roof’s angles and made sure there were no tall buildings or trees that would blot out the sun at any time of the day.

“He told me I had enough roof space for 25 panels, which I was told is the maximum number allowed,” he said.

It had cost Ho over RM40,000, but after seeing how much his electricity bill dropped, he was satisfied because it meant he could potentially save RM10,000 a year on electricity.

“My solar panels are connected to the Internet and the contractor can tell me how efficient their monthly performance is.

“At the start, they were operating at 86% efficiency, and now that we are having hot and cloudless days, the panels are operating at 92.54% efficiency,” Ho said, adding that he had the panels installed in March.

That is not the only pleasant thing. Ho signed a 10-year contract with Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) for excess electricity generated by his solar panels to be fed into the power grid.

“So let’s say we go on a long holiday. Then the electricity from my solar panels will go into the power grid. TNB will buy it and what we ‘sold’ will be reflected in our power bill,” he explained.

“So do your research to find a reputable installer,” Ho said, adding that it was not ideal to have solar panels if one’s home power bill was less than RM300 a month.

A satay shop operator in Klang said he is planning to install solar panels to mitigate high electricity bills.

Syarafiq Abd Samad said his monthly costs could go as high as RM8,000 if the bill was unsubsidised.

He said solar panels could help reduce his electricity bill by between 30% and 40% depending on the type installed.

“I can save between RM2,000 to RM3,000 per month,” added Syarafiq.

However, the 34-year-old said the cost to install solar panels wasn’t cheap.

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