In 2019, Mathew Samuel was a college student at MIT Pune, studying product design, where constant conversations about how products are made and how they impact the environment were the norm.
He knew about climate change, but the scale of it all didn’t really hit him until something life-changing happened.
That year, his hometown in Kerala faced one of the worst floods ever. He lost contact with his family – and it was a really scary time. Mathew’s mother ran a clinic which got nearly submerged and damaged. They were lucky because some of their friends and relatives had even worse losses.
And this was the second year in a row for flooding of that magnitude to happen in Kerala and this made him realise that we all need to do more about the climate crisis.
He saw that a big part of the problem was how we make energy.
It has a bigger impact on the climate than other aspects like transportation, materials, farming, or waste. He also understood that just talking about using fewer resources wasn’t enough. And the solution to that in large parts was solar energy. We need to have more of it for everyone.
But here’s the thing – Today, when we think about solar panels, we usually picture them on big open spaces or big roofs where they can capture the sun’s energy to make clean power. That makes people think that solar power is a fancy thing for people with big houses.
In a big and diverse country like India, should clean energy only be for a few people?
In an interview with Startup Pedia, Mathew explains: “Solar energy shouldn’t just be a choice for people with large houses and spacious roofs. It should be available to everyone, no matter where we live. That’s the leap we want to make.”
To solve for this, they came up with the concept of Digital Solar to help residents save up on their power bills without having to install any panels on their rooftops. Instead, you can subscribe to a community solar plant and get credits on your power bill for the energy. These credits cut down on your electricity bill. The best part, anyone across India can avail Digital Solar through their platform, SundayGrids, no matter if they live in an independent bungalow or rented apartment.
Here’s how it works –
The customer informs SundayGrids of their electricity bill, and the company allows them to choose how much of it they wish to cover with on-bill solar credits. Each solar panel in the system generates power which is used by buildings near the solar installation, and customers earn credits for every unit of power produced.
These credits can be linked to their power bills through the platform and be utilized to offset their electricity bill, ensuring that they only pay for the remaining balance (if any) after applying the credits.
Since November of last year, SundayGrids has assisted more than 250 customers with its Digital Solar offering. This has resulted in the generation of over 200 MWh of clean energy and the avoidance of 1.8 lakh Kgs of carbon emissions.
One of the most appealing aspects of this approach is its affordability. By constructing large community-solar projects ranging from 100 KW to 300 KW, the cost per kilowatt is significantly lower compared to traditional rooftop solar installations. Furthermore, spreading out the operating costs makes it even more budget-friendly.
Their Digital Solar approach is instrumental in making clean energy more available to more people. The company is not merely transforming the energy landscape; they are aligning incentives for all to participate in sustainable energy. Save money and save the planet, a win-win for all us.
1. What is Sundaygrids?
SundayGrids is an Indian community solar startup devoted to increasing solar access for everybody. Anyone in India, regardless of living situation—whether a tenant, apartment resident, or independent homeowner—can participate in their community solar projects. Individuals can reserve digital solar units through SundayGrids and receive credits for the solar power generated. Through the SundayGrids app, these credits can be utilised to reduce electricity bills. This novel technology, known as Digital Solar, minimises carbon emissions and promotes clean energy without the need for solar panels to be installed or maintained.
2. What is Digital Solar?
Through this service, users can reserve solar capacity in commercial solar projects and exchange power for bill credits, which helps them save money on their electricity bills.
3. What are the benifits of SundayGrids?
– Make a reservation to go solar instantly in under a minute.
– It’s simple to add or change electric utilities.
– There is no need to worry about installation space or maintenance.
– To simply pay your electricity bill, keep an eye on your daily credits.
– Even if you change your location, credits will be transferred to new location.
4. What are SundayGrids’ service locations?
You can enjoy the services of SundayGrids across all Indian states except Andhra Pradesh and Telangana where service will begin by march 2024.