Soorya Bala Sangramaya (Battle for Solar Energy) – The Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority, Ceylon Electricity Board and Lanka Electricity Company launched the Soorya Bala Sangramaya in 2016, with the intention of promoting and setting up small-scale solar power plants on rooftops of households, religious places, hotels, commercial establishments and industries, it is expected to add 200 MW of solar electricity to the national grid by 2020 and 1000 MW by 2025. The programme accommodates three options for consumers to generate and use electricity in their households: Net Metering, Net Accounting and Net Plus.

Making the shift to solar is often not just sustainable from an environmental point of view but also lucrative in the long-run when calculating savings. However, if either your system is faulty or worse, you are not reaping the benefits of your investment, the switch to solar is not only wasted financially but also defeats the purpose of embracing environmentally sustainable technology.  

Here are three steps to help gauge the reliability of your solar electricity provider.

Country of origin

More often than not, the better quality solar electricity systems including panels are manufactured in Germany as the country has the most number of solar module and inverter manufacturers in the whole of Europe. Hence, the cost you pay for your solar electricity system can be considerably higher. However, an increasing number of solar electricity providers are being bulk manufactured in China making it an attractively affordable option to most households. While the initial investment may seem like a saving thanks to the low cost of substandard raw materials, unless certified and manufactured as per global industry standards, chances are that the solar electricity system atop your roof may be faulty.

While our solar solutions at SolarTherm may not be at the lowest in the price index, we only bring down German-made industry-grade systems ensuring reliability and longevity in all our offerings.

Selecting your service provider

How long has it been since you installed your solar electricity system and how long has it been since your solar electricity provider reached out to you? It is important to monitor the performance of the system and the company you are linked with should take responsibility and be committed to ensuring the promised power output in the long run. More often than not, the plethora of mushroom companies that bring down rejected and damaged solar electricity equipment to Sri Lanka, sell them at attractive prices to ill-informed domestic consumers, closes shop and leaves them astray. When selecting your solar electricity provider, do not rush to finalize on the most attractive price. Keep in mind that it is after all an investment and do a bit of research on their market share, how long they’ve been in the industry – including assessing their track record of completed projects, customer feedback – and most importantly, where their products come from.

What’s your ROI?

Are you making any returns on your solar electricity system? Better yet, are you saving anything on your current electricity bill? Has your solar electricity provider educated you on the Soorya Bala Sangramaya scheme? What is your total return in rupees and cents during the lifespan of the product compared to the various other brands available in the market?

These are a few pertinent questions to keep in mind when choosing your solar electricity provider and gauging the reliability of the said service provider. These questions will also provide you with an understanding of how knowledgeable is your solar electricity provider and whether in the long run, the product will meet the promised return on your investment.

Despite being the sunny tropical not to forget warm isle Sri Lanka is, it is not common to see the use of hot water in households even in the cities bordering the coastline. While to most, hot water is still considered a luxury, the popularity and availability of hot water has caught on and more houses use hot water than before. There is an estimated 150,000 solar-powered hot water units in the country of which, 90,000 have been supplied for by SolarTherm.

However, hot water, like other appliances and luxuries you would invest on to not only upgrade your lifestyle but also make living conditions more convenient, comes at a cost. Should this investment not be of good quality, there is a very likely possibility of continuous recurring costs in terms of repairs and maintenance. Here are a few benefits that result in investing in high-quality water heaters.

Extra Savings and also a Return on your Investment  

One of the most attractive benefits of investing in a quality solar water heater is the savings you would have on your electricity bill. As a result of not being dependent on electricity for water heating not only are you able to have considerable savings but also end up with a lasting unit with an extended lifespan as a result of the quality of raw materials used. Moreover, while being entitled to all savings, you will also make a return on your investment over a period of time. Given below is a table explaining the same.

SolarTherm water heater capacity Number of units saved (kWh) Saving on monthly electricity bill (LKR) Payback period for SolarTherm water heater
75 L 65.6 2173.125 36 months
100 L 88.5 3202.50 32 months
150 L 131.5 5137.5 24 months
200 L 175 7095.00 20 months
300 L 262.5 11032.50 18 months

Extended lifespan

As a result of investing in a quality solar water heater, your product is guaranteed to last 20-25 years or more if maintained as per instructions. Not only does proper maintenance result in the longevity and extended life span of your solar water heater, but you will also have a trouble-free fully-functional unit working round the clock complete with guaranteed savings. One of the most commonly observed issues in the industry are abandoned water heaters by various mushroom companies and manufacturers abandoning their customers and not providing any kind of after-sales services.

Safe Clean Water

While quality water heaters result in the longevity of the unit and a return on your investment, did you also know that a unit such as the food-grade stainless steel 304l unit makes heated water safe for usage. These units come equipped with safety features including vacuum breakers and pressure relief valves that ensure its safety on your roof. SolarTherm water heaters have a number of copper tubes in a panel with a black chromated absorber surface that heats water in a shorter timespan making the unit efficient and durable. The solar collector panel also has special low iron tempered solar glass to protect the panel from environmental hazards.