Energy saver: The SunPower Solar Starter Kit with the basic 6-panel installation. <em>*Photo supplied</em>
Energy saver: The SunPower Solar Starter Kit with the basic 6-panel installation. *Photo supplied
<
1
2
>

WEDNESDAY, APR. 4: Most of us are fully aware of the benefits of solar energy but have been put off by the initial cost of installing solar panels.

Alternative Energy Systems (AES) has come up with a solution to this problem with the launch yesterday of SunPower Solar Starter Kits, which are designed to make switching to solar power easy and affordable for Bermudians.

The kits feature industry-leading solar cell technology, include all necessary equipment and installation, and will result in immediate savings on homeowner energy bills.

Tim Madeiros, CEO of AES, said the offer is intended to make solar technology attainable for all Bermudians.

 “The SunPower Solar Starter Kit is designed to make it easy and cost-effective for homeowners to adopt solar power. And with financing options with Butterfield Bank, the Belco buy-back programme and Government incentives, it makes sense for homeowners to switch to solar.

“We are excited to make this offer as part of our commitment to provide Bermudians with renewable and non-polluting energy services and to help them own their power.” 

Mr Madeiros explained that with the SunPower Solar Starter Kit, the savings on the homeowner’s energy bill will be immediate and at the end of each month, the electricity bill will show a notable reduction in the amount of kWh’s purchased from Belco.

Mr Maderios said with the starter kit savings of around $75 a month can be made on power bills. He said this is tied to weather patterns but he normally bases his calculations on 5.5 hours of sunshine a day — a conservative estimate with these systems.

He added: “With the reduction in energy usage, solar customers could avoid rate increases by Belco as the Energy Commission recently stated that residential kWh consumption below 700kWh’s would not be subjected to rate increases.”

He admitted that it was a tough idea to get across that getting finance for solar installation is not taking on more debt but diverting funds.

 “It’s a rent versus buy decision — and in this case putting that rent into something that you will eventually own.

“Paying your loan back is “diverting funds from paying Belco to paying for your unit.”

Mr Madeiros told the Bermuda Sun that his objective with the starter kit is to introduce the technology at an affordable price.

“Bermudians are still sceptical about rebates from Belco. ‘Wow! that can’t be right’ they say which means there is still a lot of education required in the Bermuda public,

The SunPower Solar Starter Kit includes six SunPower 240watt AC panels, a SunPower web-based monitoring kit, a Belco Net Meter, complete installation and all government fees and permitting costs.

The monitoring system allows homeowners to keep track of energy production in real time from anywhere in the world using a computer or smart device.

The solar panels feature SunPower Maxeon solar cell technology, which captures up to 50 per cent more sunlight and conducts more electrical current than conventional solar cells.

The panels feature an industry-leading 25-year warranty.

Mr Madeiros also states that solar power is an eco-friendly solution that perfectly complements other green initiatives such as electric cars and offers this scenario: “If you’re thinking about purchasing an electric car, a SunPower Solar Starter Kit will generate enough energy to offset the electricity required to charge the car at night so you can drive green on free energy for life!”

The special introductory $8,899 price will be offered through the end of August 2012 and is a one-time only offer for first-time buyers. Prices may vary depending on conditions.

The SunPower Solar Starter Kit also qualifies for a Government rebate of $1,440, which makes the switch to solar energy even more affordable.

For more information, go to www.aes.bm or e-mail Tim at Tim.Madeiros@aes.bm or call 505-0804.