Mercedes Abdola, from Tenerife, has been a user of Som Energía since 2016. After the first call for Erupción Solar, there was no thought of being one of the first families on the island to install photovoltaic panels thanks to this national cooperative.
“With the rise in electricity, I think we have more than amortized the installation.” Mercedes Abdola, user and member of the Som Energía cooperative in Tenerife for 8 years, recounts her experience with the installation of photovoltaic panels. Thanks to the Solar Eruption project, which was launched at the beginning of 2020, this woman has managed to reduce her electricity bill considerably.
After becoming a member in 2016 of this non-profit company that helps install renewable energy at reduced prices, Mercedes received an email notifying her of the collective purchase that was going to take place in Tenerife. Once received, she gets in touch with Som Energía to start her registration in this call. To be part of the Solar Eruption project you have to be a member by paying 100 euros. In case you want to leave, this amount would be returned to you. Then, you have to fill out a form with some personal data. «We had to pay 150 euros to confirm the registration and carry out the first phase of the project. This money is deducted from the final price”, details Abdola. The first part of the planning is based on a visit by the technicians to the house to carry out a study on the most suitable location and the best power for the house.
Mercedes has a house with a piece of land in the municipality of Tacoronte. The entire installation was based on the conventional electrical system. For this reason, the price of the previous work to place the photovoltaic panels became more expensive. Also, by not putting the plates on the roof of her house, she had to buy more materials. «My installation is 4.4 kilowatts and it cost us approximately 7,500 euros», ensures, to nuance. “Now, fortunately, there is a subsidy from the Canary Islands Government for self-consumption and we received 2,400 euros».
The bonus is established according to the installed power, although it is around 30%. Once installed, a change of marketer is made. “The contract for the installation is like a turnkey: they take care of absolutely everything. It’s a convenience », he underlines.
The process from the registration in the call did not exceed the year. After seven months (November 2020) they finished the installation in Mercedes’ home. When making a joint purchase it is normal for the arrival of the materials to take a while, so I did not expect it to be so soon. “Considering that the pandemic was involved, it was a fairly short period of time. For all the current situation, I know that now they are taking longer to arrive.
The operation of solar panels is based on the conversion of solar energy into electrical energy. Therefore, the plates do not produce the same amount of energy throughout the year. In autumn and winter, the production of the plates is lower. However, as Mercedes says, “now in the spring we are noticing the difference in production in the different seasons, which is much higher.” Solar Eruption users can review the performance of their photovoltaic panels through an application that provides all the information on their production.
Before the photovoltaic installation in her home, Mercedes paid an average of 100 euros per month for the electricity bill. Once the solar panels were installed, after a few months he noticed a significant change. “I was surprised when I received a receipt for 30 euros,” she recalls.
Drop in electricity bill
The constant increase over the last year in the price of electricity has not affected this user. “I have no reference to how much electricity has risen in recent months, since I have had the plates since the end of 2020.” This reduction is due, to a certain extent, to each kilowatt that is transferred to the global electrical network of the Island from the solar panels. There is a stipulated price for the kilowatt that is poured into the network, depending on the size and the installation that you have. Hence, the electricity bill is greatly reduced. “I immediately made the installation profitable,” she stresses.
The reasons that prompted Mercedes to use photovoltaic panels were mainly environmental: «I have two daughters and I think about what future I am going to leave them». The growing environmental awareness on the planet is bearing fruit. «Change begins in what each one can do in their day to day. In addition, producing your own energy gives you a lot of autonomy. And, in this way, the multinationals are not given as much power.” After the exorbitant increase in the price of electricity in recent months, Mercedes appreciates having anticipated and having solar energy in her home.
Of the two calls that the Som Energía cooperative has launched, a small economic part is saved. When the call is completed, this reserve is used to give away a photovoltaic installation to an association for free. “Among the associates we choose the entity that will take it,” says Mercedes. “We are looking for associations that carry out an activity to support citizens or vulnerable people,” concludes Abdola.