Residents pooled in Rs 35 lakh to install a 65kW rooftop solar system that will help conserve energy
A Kandivali housing society has become a shining example of green living in Mumbai with environmentally conscious initiatives that have brought down their total energy consumption to half. The latest addition — a 65kW solar panel system installed on the roof to provide electricity to three buildings on its premises — was made on World Environment Day this Monday.
From consuming 863 units of energy per month, s , formed in November last year, now uses 356 units a month. This, after the society members replaced 600 tube lights in the premises with LED bulbs. This and a string of other green initiatives, which are systematically incorporated by residents in their daily lives, have put the society on top of the ‘green game’ in the city.
SK Sahu, chairman
The idea to switch to green living first came about when the society was confronted with an electricity bill of Rs 3,56,219 last December. With the help of Residents Forum, a citizen group in Thakur Village, the society launched the ‘Go Green’ project to help reduce its carbon footprint. “We worked on residents, making them aware about the need to save energy to secure a better tomorrow for our children,” said Dr Mahesh Umbarje, resident and project coordinator for Go Green. “Now, we are slowly trying to convert Thakur Village into a centre of green living,” he added.
Rooftop solar system installed
Over the last three months, the society has replaced 600 high-wattage tube lights with energy-efficient LED bulbs in the common areas. “Back in December, we consumed 863 units of energy per month,” said SK Sahu, chairman. Sahu, who has worked in the oil and natural gas sector and is aware of the need to conserve non-renewable energy, has been instrumental in helping the society convert. “First, we switched to LED lights. Then, we identified areas where lights would stay on continuously, even when not required,” he said.
The parking lot has LED bulbs
This week, the residents pooled in funds to install the solar panel system at a massive cost of R35 lakh. The panels are expected to generate 300 units of energy per month. “From this month onwards, we will only have to foot a bill for the remaining 56 units we need,” Sahu added. That means each resident would only have to shell out R100 every month.
Besides promoting renewal energy, the society has also progressed with water conservation by using kitchen taps with water-saving nozzles. “The nozzles were distributed across 229 households,” said Sahu, pointing out that they have helped reduce the flow of water from eight litres per minute to half. The future plan is to replace the showerheads with similar nozzles to reduce the water flow from 25 litres per minute to nine litres per minute. Besides this, the society also has a full-fledged rainwater harvesting system with percolation pits at strategic locations to fill up the huge storage tank.
All three wings of Raheja Eternity Housing Society have converted to greener living in the last six months. Pics/ Sameer Markande
In order to achieve a zero garbage target, Raheja Eternity Society has commissioned a fully automatic compost converter, which will convert the entire wet load of the society to compost within three days. “All societies should work to minimising CO2 emissions to help control global warming and reduce carbon footprint,” suggested Ajay Singh Thakur, Secretary, Raheja Eternity CHSL added.