Want To Lower Your Electricity Bill? Try Solar Panels!

solar panels cost

Does it makes financial sense to install solar power for your home?

If you have some spare land or a nice, wide roof on your home, why not put it to good use. Of course, there is nothing wrong with letting it just sit there as well, but you could also benefit from all that extra space.

According to the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change, there are over 4.12 million buildings with solar rooftop potential in Peninsular Malaysia.

If every one of those rooftops had rooftop solar installed, just think of how much energy Malaysia could generate a year! Not to mention the amount of money you could save on the electricity bill.

How much will it cost to install?

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer when it comes to pricing. It can vary heavily based on the installation’s size, the make and quality of the solar panels being installed, and the particular scheme or package you chose to handle the installation. Different companies may also have different pricing as well.

A standard residential installation could vary from 4kW to 12kW, with costs ranging from between RM16,000 to RM23,000 for a basic system of 3kW. However, do note that this is just a general estimate. Each individual provider will have their own calculation and estimates on installation prices. You should be able to find a calculator on their respective websites to formulate a more accurate quotation for your specific needs.

If you are not sure where to start, here is a list of a few solar panel providers for you to consider. It should give you an idea of the price range and the available services that come with the product.

  • MAQO Solar
  • Next Energy
  • Solarvest Residential
  • Plus Xnergy
  • Sols Energy
  • Verdant Solar
  • GSparx (subsidiary of TNB Renewable Sdn. Bhd.)

Certain registered providers also offer the options of ‘leasing’ solar panels, allowing you to install them at a relatively low upfront cost. You will instead pay the company over time like a subscription for the service.

It’s also worth checking in with your banks for major green deals. For example, Maybank has a solar financing program, allowing you to pay monthly installments for your solar panels and receiving assistance with maintenance and warranties.

Other solar financing options include UOB’s U-Solar programme which is designed for both businesses and individuals. UOB offers the option to pay for your solar package over 12, 18, 24 or 36 months with 0% interest with your UOB credit card.

If you are curious as to how you can go about finding more providers to install solar panels in your home, the Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) website has a useful directory that can help you with that.

How much electricity can you produce?

Before buying a solar panel in Malaysia, we will definitely need to determine a solar energy system size that is suitable for you. To figure this out, there are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration.

1. Rooftop size

It goes without saying that the size of your rooftop will determine the amount of solar PV panels that can be installed. The bigger the roof, the more panels that can be installed, and thus the more electricity you can generate. Generally speaking, a flat roof would be preferred as it can help to maximise the amount of sunlight the panels will receive.

If your roof is tilted, it would be best to place the solar panels on the north or south facing roof. With proper design and planning, east and west facing panels can also be used. This is to ensure that the solar panels have direct contact with sunlight for the majority of the day.

2. Electricity usage

Another factor to consider is how much electricity your household uses. In order to maximise benefits and reduce cost, it is best to design the solar energy system according to your electricity consumption. It would not be cost effective to install a solar energy system that can generate more electricity than what you normally consume.

The Net Energy Metering (NEM) scheme does allow you to sell excess energy back into the grid, but there is usually a limit to the amount of electricity you can offer to the scheme. As such, you may not want to install more solar panels than you need.

3. Set your budget

The ideal number of panels to install for you is one that matches your electricity usage and your available rooftop space. However, the system should also be one that matches your intended budget. After considering the other factors above, you can use SEDA’s NEM calculator to determine the estimated cost of your solar system. However, you should note that the calculator offers the minimum cost estimation provided by SEDA. The total cost will likely be higher depending on location, service provider, package offered, etc.

Do note that regardless of the size of your solar system, power generation from solar panels will fluctuate depending on factors such as the weather.

How much can you save by using solar panels?

While it is clear that the installation of solar panels can help save you some money on your electricity bill, you must be wondering how much you can actually save should you opt in to the NEM scheme?

For example:

Total electricity generated

Block Tariff (kWh)Usage (kWh)Rate (kWh)Amount (RM)
1 - 20000.2180.00
201 - 30000.3340.00
301 - 6001220.51662.95
601 - 900500.54627.30
901 onwards00.5710.00

Source: SEDA, TNB

In your bill, you will first use the solar energy that you produce in your home. If your solar panel system begins producing more than is required for use, the excess electricity will be sent out to the grid and the meter will capture how many kW is going out. This is represented by the generated electricity table. As you can see in the example above,  the total of RM90.25 will be deducted from your bill

Why do you still need electricity from the grid?

If you are curious as to why you might still be importing electricity from the grid despite having your own solar panels, it is because solar panels do not operate at peak efficiency at all times, especially at night. The night time usage of electricity or changes in weather will affect how much energy your solar system generates, and may result in your household drawing more electricity from the grid to compensate.

Additionally, the amount of electricity you can generate also depends on your installed capacity. As mentioned previously, you can utilise the TNB NEM calculator to get a rough estimate on how many panels you need installed to grant you the desired power output.

Overall, having solar panels installed can be a great way to offset your electricity bills in the long run. Just make sure that you are in a financially sound position to handle the initial costs and do your research to find the best deal possible.

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