“Solar-Powered Lighting Reduced My Electricity Bill From 12K To 3K”: How To Switch To Solar, How Much You’ll Spend
Your pockets will thank you in the long run.
As we spend more time at home, and especially now that the summer season is here, our electricity bills are expected to skyrocket. Your weekly Netflix movie night with the family with the air conditioner on full blast will reflect on your bill. Throw in the electricity consumption from your refrigerator, air purifier, and lights, and you’ll find yourself paying thousands of pesos just for electricity alone. This is why many are switching to solar-powered lighting.
What is solar-powered lighting?
Solar-powered lighting makes use of solar energy, where the sun becomes the primary source of energy to provide electricity. It has the ability to replace other light sources at low operating costs compared to traditional energy, making it a viable alternative source for energy.
A solar light or “solar lamp” is composed of a LED lamp, battery, charge controller, and solar panels. The batteries are charged through the use of solar panels, which then provides electricity for the solar lights to work.
Can we install solar lighting in the Philippines?
The installation process varies, depending on where you live and which part of your home will be switched to solar energy.
Nellie, a 54-year-old housewife from Imus, Cavite, had solar panels installed to power her entire home, including their outdoor lights.
“We installed a 5-kilowatt grid solar panel project on our roof facing south to maximize harvest [of solar energy]. We also installed six solar-powered floodlights around the house for overnight light,” she adds.
Since Nellie wanted to switch the whole house to solar energy, she sought help from a licensed solar contractor for the installation.
“The licensed solar contractor facilitated the procurement of materials and installation of panels and control system. He was also the one who applied [for the] necessary permits [with] the City Hall’s electrical department and [with] Meralco.” An electrician had to convert their electric meter upon installation of the solar panels.
“There was also an inspection conducted by the City Hall and Meralco to make sure that the installation is legal and acceptable. Certificate of Electrical Inspection (CEI) is necessary,” she says. Nellie spent around Php 300,000 for the whole package.
As for 25-year-old Nelsen, only their outdoor lights were converted to solar energy, which made installation cheaper than Nellie’s. They did not need any certificates, either. “It’s easier to install since nasa labas na rin ‘yung power source, which is the sun,” he shares.
The businessman from Quezon City purchased a set of solar lights for their terrace and garage, the price of which ranges from Php 500 to Php 3,000 each, all from Lazada. “Siguro overall na nasa bahay namin is Php 20,000 to Php 25,000 total.”
Nelsen says that installing outdoor solar lights is super easy; you just need to take note of the right placement where your panels are regularly hit by sunlight. This way, outdoor lights can last for about 12 hours without consuming electricity.
Why should I switch to solar energy?
Switching to solar energy may sound intimidating at first, but it offers several benefits.
- It reduces your electricity bills significantly.
Nellie’s monthly electricity consumption before switching to solar reached an average of Php 8,000 to Php 12,000. Switching to solar energy reduced their bill to only Php 3,000 on average per month, which translates to substantial savings.
“Our savings on electricity is around Php 6,000 to Php 8,000 a month. Return of investment (ROI) is approximately 4-5 years. Life [expectancy] of the solar panels is 25 years, so we have lots of savings on our electric bill for the next 25 years,” Nellie shares.
- It makes use of a renewable energy source.
Having the sun as its main source of energy, means that the solar panels will effectively work for as long as the sun is there (it will be for the next 5 billion years). It is available anywhere in the world, every single day, unlike other sources of energy.
“Hindi nakaka-konsensya iwan naka-on since unlimited power source naman. Madali lang i-install and palitan. Mura lang and malaki matitipid. It can also be used during emergencies and black out,” Nelsen shares.
- It is an investment.
Nelsen started using solar lights in late 2019. He says that at first, it might seem like a more expensive option as you would need to pay a lump sum upfront, but as it reduces your monthly electricity bill, it comes out more efficient in the long run.
“Advice ko, mag-switch na sa solar-powered lighting kahit mukhang mas mahal siya. Magbabayad ka in one lump sum amount na malaki, pero in the long run, mas malaki matitipid,” he says.
Where can I find solar panel suppliers?
Convinced? There are several suppliers and companies who can guide you on the whole process. Check them out!
- Solaric Philippines
Address: 2320 Pasong Tamo Ext. (Chino Roces Extension) Makati City
- Solar Philippines
Address: Suit 2A, L.P. Leviste Towers, 112 Legaspi Street, Makati City
- SolarNRG Philippines
Address: Unit 602, Emerald Mansion, 1605 Emerald Ave, San Antonio, Pasig City
- Sunfinity Philippines
Address: 36 Don Matias St., Holy Spirit Drive, Don Antonio Heights, Quezon City
Address: Greenhills Garden Square 297 Col. Bonny Serrano Ave. Brgy. Bagong Lipunan ng Crame, Quezon City