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Is Residential Solar Worth Considering?

  • 2021-06-11 18:20:26

Credit: AHS

In Malaysia, suffering under the unbearable heat is inevitable. As a matter of fact, the tropical climate of Southeast Asia in general makes this a common issue. As such, air conditioning is almost always seen in Malaysian households and indoor spaces alike.

As with all things in life, everything comes with a price. As torturous as the heat may be, cranking up the AC often takes a toll on your wallet, resulting in high electricity bills and increased carbon footprint. An alternative to mainstream electricity is the utilisation of solar panels. Read on to find out if solar panels are truly worth your time – and money, of course.

Fossil-fuel vs Solar

Credit: Forbes

To even begin considering solar options, it’s essential to first understand the differences between fossil-fuelled energy and solar energy. In simple terms, solar energy prides itself in pioneering a cleaner, greener and more sustainable future. With solar panels in place, the use of electricity thus reduces the emissions caused by burning fossil fuel traditionally.

If you’re passionate about being sustainable and eco-friendly, solar can certainly be a big step towards a greener future. Furthermore, solar panels are excellent at cutting costs on your electricity bills, since electricity is powered by the sun which is an inexhaustible natural resource – as of today, at least.

Cost Breakdown of Solar Options

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Although solar panels have been proved to reduce electricity costs, the system and its installation in itself certainly rounds up to a prominent price point.

Types of Solar Panels: Monocrystalline, Polycrystalline and Thin Film are the 3 main types of solar panels that are readily available, priced from highest to lowest respectively. They each cater to different needs and usages in a home and the difference in pricing is heavily influenced by the efficiency and aesthetic value of the panels, with Monocrystalline solar panels ranked the highest.

Roof Types: The material and design of your roof directly affects the cost of installing solar panels for your home. Although they can be installed on almost any type of roof, some roofs require additional installation considerations and mechanisms, such as racks and mounts. For instance, installing solar panels on steep and tiled roofs are significantly costlier, as compared to seamed metal roofs. This is due to the labour and workmanship required to drill, install and secure solar panels efficiently on steep and tiled roofs, which would otherwise be unnecessary on seamed metal roofs.

Size of Installable Area: This should go without saying. More effort and materials are needed to cover a larger roof as opposed to a smaller roof.

Maintenance Fees: As with all electrical systems, regular maintenance is recommended to maximise the full potential of your solar home. However, fret not as most well-maintained solar home systems can last up 30 years.

Feasibility and Impact

Credit: Amazing Solar

With the pros and cons of installing solar panels being laid out, the choice is ultimately in your hands. By transitioning into a solar home, some impacts that are expected to be seen are the reduction in electricity costs and the feel-good aspect of being an active contributor to battling pollution and global warming.

Feasible decisions should be made to ensure you get a bang for your buck, since solar panels aren’t necessarily cheap. If you intend to live in the same home for 25 to 30 years, then investing in solar panels would be a sound choice, since solar panels tend to have a similar lifespan. Furthermore, the use of solar panels can drastically increase the value of your home, since buyers are often attracted by the benefits of being freed from utility bills.

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