Rising electricity bills and frequent power cuts have made the tapping of solar energy a significant alternative and an economically viable option. Solar panels and storage tanks have become almost an inseparable part of many new buildings, be it residential, educational, hospital or hotel. A typical urban house with four occupants requires a heating system with a 100-litre tank, costing a minimum of Rs. 13,000. A 200-litre system will cost Rs. 21,000. It goes up to Rs. 32,000 for a 300-litre heating system.The solar lighting system is also becoming widespread. While lanterns and plain lighting system are becoming popular in rural areas, solar power generation system is attracting the urbanites
Plain solar lighting system that supplies power to four lights and two fans will cost Rs. 20,000, whereas a solar power generator will cost Rs. 60,000 for an average house. It will supply power to four to six lights, a television set and two fans
Customers should make sure the panel comes with inbuilt electric heating system to be used in times of cloudy weather. A customer should look at the ISI or BIS mark, the quantum of electricity consumed by the stand-by heating coil and instant availability of hot water while making his choice.
The Union Government recently brought down the rate of interest for loans on solar water heating panels to two per cent from the existing five per cent and has directed all banks and financial institutions to offer the same to consumers.