AutoMall is on target to see a return on its investment in solar systems designed to decrease the company’s energy costs and environmental footprint, the company’s Manager L.J. Albury told Guardian Business yesterday, adding that the three systems are on target to meet the company’s savings goals.
Godfrey Thomas, founder and director of Bahamas Energy and Solar Supplies (BESS) – the company that installed the AutoMall system – told this paper that the most important parts of a solar installation are to have adequate roof space facing an acceptable direction and to install the system to the manufacturer’s standards. He added that there should be little to no obstruction by trees or anything else.
Data from BESS shows that so far for 2020, AutoMall has generated around $12,150 in power savings because of its solar systems.
Thomas said a good solar system is not inexpensive, but along with improvements to efficiency in a home, it could pay for itself in just a few years.
For commercial systems like the ones installed by BESS at AutoMall, they can have an average return on investment of 18 percent and a five- to six-year payoff cost of six to eight cents per watt, Thomas noted.
Albury said the systems are performing as expected, though weather and cloudiness can reduce power production.
“It varies from month to month because of weather and stuff like that, so we’re actually hoping for sunny days now. We are happy and we’ve been happy with Bahamas Solar.”
Thomas said with solar energy and systems it is important to choose an installer that is reputable and knowledgable.
“Education is the important thing and understanding solar is a wonderful thing, but like anything, it has to have a standard of installation that can be second to none,” he said.
“It has to be rigidly put in following the manufacturer’s code. It has to be properly installed on a proper surface.”
Thomas said BESS has come a long way in the past year and a half in terms of installations and business, by putting together a top team he says is the best in The Bahamas.
BESS has completed installations with Pinder’s Customs Brokerage, Summit Insurance, Multi-Discount Furniture, Rocky Farms and AutoMall.
Thomas said BESS has its largest ever install on an out island in the pipeline.
He added that one of BESS’s grid-tied systems is already receiving money back from Bahamas Power and Light.
“This step is not an inexpensive investment, but the rewards to the environment of The Bahamas and our clients is substantial,” said Thomas.
“BESS has fortunately, through adherence to very high installation standards, established itself as a quality and trusted installer in The Bahamas. Trust and quality being the key words, as the solar arrays must survive the harsh conditions of the area in which we live.
“I remind the public that a solar installation has to be designed and engineered to last 25 to 30 years. In order for this to be achieved you need to vet your chosen installer carefully so as not to be taken advantage of.”