There has been an ongoing debate in the social media sphere recently concerning the rising cost of electricity. Mostly hit were those who access power supply with prepaid meters, some of whom note that they now pay up to double what they used to pay last year. Considerations for alternative power supply to homes and offices now remains a huge topic even as inflation and the cost of living continues to hike.
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The subsidies purportedly put in place by the government last year have not newly reviewed electricity tariff kicked off during the lockdown in 2020.
Despite the tiered tariff system done by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to zone the cost per kilowatt of electricity which users have to pay depending on the economic position of a community, the recent power tariff has put in place a glass ceiling for power users. Nigerians who have been used to cheap electricity now have to pay through their nose to be connected to the grid.
Options for electricity supply such as inverter technology and solar power have again been recognised as alternatives to the power supply by distribution companies (Discos). It may now be time to consider alternative power supply methods such as solar, wind and biomass power technologies.
In the U.S, Tesla Battery/Powerwall both owned by billionaire innovator, Elon Musk, have begun to roll out products that can fully power the electricity need of homes for days even without recharging the power storage unit.
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Arnergy Solar, Rubitec Solar and Solarwox are some of the players offering a subscription-based model of power supply to willing buyers in Nigeria. Subscribers are able to spread the total cost of installing a solar roof in their homes over a period of months or a couple of years. With this model, it is possible to space the high cost of acquiring solar power in the home in a manner affordable to middle-income earners.
The good side of this model of power supply remains the huge number of Nigerians that will be onboarded for such power plans in the near future.
On the other hand, local technicians who have mastered the art and science of battery and inverter technology have also been at the forefront of installing very cheap alternative power solutions that can power basic home/office equipment such as fans, printers, TV, clippers and lighting are also servicing lower-paying customers.
On a cost per benefit basis, Nigerians may only just need to step out and explore other more economical options of power supply that may be better than their current supply. After all, information remains powerful even in a country where the imbalance is commonplace.
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