With the more expensive energy bill every month – and the prospect of an even greater increase with the activation of the “water scarcity” tariff flag – Cearenses have been betting on installation of solar panels to save.
According to data from the Union of Industries of Energy and Services of the Electric Sector of the State of Ceará (Sindienergia/CE), there was a 60% growth in the number of units installed in Ceará, considering the comparison of the period between January and August 2021 and the same months of last year.
Altogether, they are already 21,395 receiving units and 16,759 generating units In Ceara. The numbers are different because a plant can generate energy for more than one location at the same time.
Higher residential consumption
Most of the plants are focused on supplying energy to homes: there are 12,745 in total.
Commercial clients rank second, with 2,663 generating units, followed by rural units, 1,020, and industrial units, 241. The rest of the plants are for lighting, power and public services.
The CEO of photovoltaic boards company Solarin, Diego Castro, says that since the pandemic, the store has seen an increase in demand for equipment for homes; before, the main demand was for businesses.
According to the businessman, there was a growth of more than 600% in demand for products from February until now, both from Fortaleza and from the Metropolitan Region and interior. The store currently sells an average of 55 projects per month and the expectation is to double that number by the end of the year.
“They [clientes] they complain a lot about the increase in the energy bill, every month it goes up. With this increase there was a great demand to reduce the cost. With the pandemic, there was a very large growth in homes, before we used to sell a lot for commerce”, he says.
How much does it cost and when is it worth it?
According to the director of distributed generation at Sindienergia, Hanter Pessoa, the installation of a solar energy system for a residence that consumes an average of 500 kWh per month varies between R$ 19 thousand and R$ 20 thousand.
He considers that the purchase of photovoltaic panels is not advantageous for consumers with low consumption, since today it is necessary to pay a minimum fee.
Hanter indicates the installation for those who consume more than 200 kWh per month. The acquisition of the system can even be made through a loan or financing.
“Today he manages to get a lot of financing from the bank to be able to pay the plant, the money he [consumidor] would pay to Enel he pays to the bank”, he recommends.
He clarifies that the purchase of a generator does not completely exempt the payment of the energy bill, as there is a built-in fee for public lighting that still has to be paid.
In periods of less sun, when the energy production of the plates is lower, the energy supply complement will come from the energy company and this difference will be paid by the consumer if he does not have credit from months with higher energy production.
How to install?
Hanter advises consumers to look for a solar energy company linked to entities such as Sindienergia. He emphasizes that the choice must be made considering the company’s history and considering the long term.
“You’re making an investment for 20 to 25 years, solar energy you buy a plant from a company and it’s the beginning of a long-term relationship”, he says.
Once the company has been chosen, a dimensioning of the residence and a project proposal will be made. If the customer accepts, the entire process, including the installation of the plates and the formalities with Enel, are solved by the contracted specialists.
For the president of Sindienergia, Luis Carlos Queiroz, expectations for growth in the segment in 2022 are quite optimistic. He cites a bill approved by the Chamber in August it guarantees solar energy subsidy until 2045, stating that the measure is good news for the increase in distributed generation.
He adds that the union has been working with federal deputy Danilo Forte to outline measures that can encourage the sector.
“There are many ways for us to be able to give support, reduce and offer more energy to the sector so that we can overcome this water crisis”, he highlights.
Hanter Pessoa encourages the encouragement of solar energy as a way to overcome the current situation of the energy crisis.
“Distributed generation plays an important role because I don’t have to wait for transmission channels to be built. It is an excellent remedy for energy crisis. I give a relief to the electricity sector. Is it the solution? No. It’s one of the solutions,” he says.