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Photo: Rezaca Renewables

Seeing that it’s only going to get hotter in Singapore, getting a solar photovoltaic (PV) system for your house, which converts sunlight into electricity, is a smart move and will save you money in the long run.

The initial investment may
be high, but the cost of solar PV systems has been falling by about 4 per cent a year, says the Energy Market Authority and the Building and Construction Authority.

The cost of your system will depend on many factors, such as the actual equipment used, labour cost, how and where it is mounted on the building, the system size
 or rating, and the amount of electricity it produces.

“Generally speaking, it is around $10,000 for an inter-terrace unit, $20,000 to $30,000 for a semi-detached home, and upwards for a larger home,” says Zachary Wang from Rezeca Renewables, a solar energy equipment supplier which has been around for six years.
 The company also offers a hire-purchase scheme with
 no upfront payment.

Operating costs for solar PV systems are negligible, but annual maintenance costs beyond the warranty period may amount to 0.5 to 1 per cent of the installation cost. “The only maintenance 
is to keep the panels clean,”
says Zachary. His company also helps customers monitor the performance of the system in real time so that they can respond quickly to any problems.

With larger solar PV systems, customers can “recoup” their investment in as little as six years; or seven to eight years for standard-size systems, he adds. Also, any excess electricity that’s produced can be sold back to the power grid.

To get more details, a useful Handbook for Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems, published by the Energy Market Authority and the Building and Construction Authority, is available for free download at