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Boatswain advocates for solar energy

Boatswain advocates for solar energy
SOLIFE SOLAR employees with company’s electric car, which is charged using solar power

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WITH GAS prices on the rise in the region, now may just be the time for Vincentians to invest in energy-saving solutions to power their homes.

More specifically, Ricardo Boatswain, the managing director of Solife Solar strongly recommends that persons invest in solar energy to power their homes – an alternative that will pay off almost immediately and continue to do so for years to come.

Solife Solar is located in Arnos Vale and has been in existence for the past nine years. In that time, the company has built its clientele to include over 100 private homes and numerous commercial or large-scale clients, including the Kingstown Co-operative Credit Union, Argyle International Airport, National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO), and the Georgetown Secondary School.

“It’s a wise decision to have a solar system and have it from us because we’re the only company that does 100 per cent solar…,” Boatswain told SEARCHLIGHT in a recent interview, noting that customers can zero their electricity bills.

“There are customers that have had solar for a while and seeing results, so much so that they are measuring it and actually have determined that solar is saving them a lot of money…” Business for the company has picked up in the last three years but like many other local businesses, it has been impacted by the COVID19 pandemic and volcanic eruption in April.

As a result, the solar company has been engaging in more public awareness to remind persons of the benefits of solar energy, particularly at a time when rising gas prices have the potential to impact the overall life and pockets of many Vincentians. Boatswain explained that Solife Solar utilises a Solar PV grid tie system, which ties into the main household electrical panel. It sends solar power to home appliances that require it, and if there is more power left, it is then sold to VINLEC at 45 cents per unit.

This accumulates in the form of credits, which Boatswain said can be used to offset current or future electricity bills that a customer may have.

Using the company’s office as an example, the managing director noted that Solife Solar had at one point up to 1000 credits from VINLEC and because the office was not using all the energy generated, it was able to transfer those credits to another building.

As a solar company, Solife Solar heavily promotes energy saving solutions in all aspects of its promotion; so much so that employees “drive on sunlight”.

The company vehicle is a Toyota Leaf, an electric car which is charged using solar energy that is generated using smart solar solutions, instead of electricity that is generated through the use of diesel.

High costs have been a major concern for persons who are considering switching their homes to use solar energy, but Boatswain said people are being misled. “…The money that you would’ve paid to VINLEC is being paid to solar and who is doing the work; the sun is doing the work. So…that money you would’ve had to pay VINLEC…can satisfy paying that. Solar starts working from day one for you,” he said.

He also said payment plans are available and tailored to each individual.

“We basically do everything. We handle all your paper work. We offer a turnkey system where we do all the work for you. Everything that is required to get you regulated and ensure that you have a proper, exceptional solar working system,” the businessman said.

“For example, there are a lot of permits, engineering to be done. We handle everything for you. All you do is actually just sign up…from day one, you start seeing a return, from the first month, you start seeing a return because the sun is shining and working.”