Consumers going for solar panels to cut costs


Sun power: Solar panels are used at the rooftop parking area of a mall in Taman Maluri. — IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/The Star

PETALING JAYA: Solar panel companies are seeing more demand from consumers after Putrajaya said it was ending electricity subsidies for rich households.

More residential and commercial customers are installing solar photovoltaic (PV) panels in a bid to bring down monthly electricity bills by generating power that is then transferred to Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB).

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Gading Kencana Sdn Bhd group managing director Datuk Muhamad Guntor Mansor Tobeng said domestic sales have doubled for his company, with the number of units sold a month increasing from seven to 17.

He said concerns over higher electricity bills are driving the migration towards renewable energy.

“Renewable energy is effective, transparent and produces fast results. The levelised cost of energy for solar is 30% lower than conventional electricity,” he said.

A trade group that represents solar PV firms said that it expected demand from residential customers to further increase in the coming months.

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“The variety and size of service providers in Malaysia mean that installations for companies may vary from one to two residential installations per month to as many within a week,” said the Malaysian Photovoltaic Industry Association (MPIA).

“With the recent announcement on the discontinuation of electricity subsidies for specific consumers, we anticipate an increase in interest to install more residential PV systems,” said its secretary Lionel Yap.

“We are hopeful that it will have a positive impact on the residential installation rate, perhaps even reaching as high as one system per house per day.”

He added that residential users would only see savings from a solar PV system if their monthly bills exceed RM400 per month.

“If the monthly bill is below RM400, the cost-effectiveness may not be as evident.”

MPIA is also seeing growing interest in PV systems among factories and select businesses, especially “RE100” companies which have committed to sourcing all their electricity from renewable sources.

Ditrolic Energy Group founder and chief executive officer Tham Chee Aun said his firm has also seen an increase in uptake.

“Since the removal of subsidies for large commercial and industrial electricity consumers, we have seen a surge in customer enquiry and uptake.

“Those corporate consumers who have been contemplating the switch to solar for a long time have made up their mind during this period,” he said.

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solar panels , electricity , subsidies

   

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