Solar energy has shown to be an excellent alternative to fuel and diesel, as well as saving the environment from generator noise pollution. If you are thinking of beginning a solar energy business in Nigeria, you are on the proper track. Daily, both enterprises and households spend money on fuel and diesel. As a result, many people are looking for a long-term solution to their power problems. You can tap into this sector because a lot of people need solutions to their problems, you just need the right tips. 

How can you start a solar energy business in Nigeria? 

Read This Next: Solar energy and sustainable development

Tips on starting a solar energy business 

To avoid threading the wrong path, you need to know what to do before you start a solar business. Keep reading to find out more. 

Register your business

The first step in forming a business in Nigeria is to register it with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). In Nigeria, the CAC is the authorized body for business registration.

Either a business name or a limited liability company can be registered. The business name is the most cost-effective way to register a company. It is critical to register your business because you will be unable to open a corporate account in any Nigerian bank without it. More importantly, it establishes your company’s credibility and dependability in the eyes of your clients.

To avoid the hassles of registering your business on your own, you can hire a professional to do it for you. 

Also, to avoid any type of company interruption or legal action, you must register with key government departments or agencies. Importantly, join the solar energy industry’s applicable labor union.

Choose a niche 

What is a niche? A business niche is a specialized or targeted segment of a larger market that companies can exploit to set themselves apart from the competitors. Entrepreneurs should seek out a niche in their business with unmet or underserved demands. 

Where do you intend to invest your energy? You can decide to sell products to customers, be an installer of solar energy products, be a solar energy equipment repairer or be a solar energy product distribution. Whatever the case, you need to decide on the niche you want to focus on. This will give you a higher advantage over others.

Read This Next: The best ways to use solar water heaters

Sell products to customers 

Solar panels are only one part of solar equipment. Other things in the category include everything from battery replacements to solar water heaters. Personal solar products, such as backpack panels, phone chargers, and other novelty solar items, are increasingly becoming more popular. You can sell any of these to customers. 

Installation of solar products 

Because of the numerous benefits available to homeowners, solar panel installation is a strongly marketed area. Installation specialists can help with more than just solar panels; they can also help with solar water heaters, pool heaters, and other solar needs.

Solar energy product distributor 

Work with producers to identify new and existing product distribution channels. Become a middleman for the manufacturer and the installation or retailer.

Solar energy equipment repairer 

Consumers must maintain their systems regularly once they have been installed for them to function properly. So, cleaning panels, verifying battery function, and inspecting wiring are all part of routine maintenance.

Draft a business plan 

After you’ve decided on the greatest niche for you, write a business strategy to go along with it. A business plan is a document that outlines your company’s long-term goals and tactics for accomplishing them.

This stage is critical since it will provide precise information that will assist you in increasing your business’s chances of success. More importantly, it will assist you in achieving your company’s short and long-term goals.

How to draft a business plan 

A good business plan will walk you through each step of beginning and running a company. Your business plan will serve as a road map for how to establish, run, and grow your new company. It’s a method of considering the most important aspects of your company.

There are two formats for writing a business plan: Traditional Business plan & Lean startup business plan

Traditional Business Plan 

An executive summary, company summary, products and services, market analysis summary, strategy and implementation summary, management summary, financial plan, and an appendix are the eight components of a traditional business plan, each with three to ten subsections.

Lean startup business plan

Though conventional wisdom holds that a standard business plan is the most important initial step in launching a business, a growing number of entrepreneurs are embracing the lean startup model and finding success with it.

Instead of meticulous planning, the lean startup approach encourages experimentation and allows you to quickly explain or launch your company. This style works well if your company is small and you expect to change or enhance your business plan as you go.

It consists of Value proposition, Key partners, Key activities, Key resources, Customer segments, Customer relationships, Channels, Cost Structure, and Revenue streams. 

Market your solar energy business 

Marketing is crucial since it aids in the sale of your goods or services. Any business’s bottom line is to make money, and marketing is a critical channel for achieving that goal. Many firms would not exist without marketing, according to creatives, because marketing is ultimately what drives sales.

When beginning a business, this is one of the most crucial tasks to take. Because of the internet and social media, advertising has become much easier today. Create accounts on social networking sites and use them to promote your business. Other forms of marketing include Word of mouth, Referral marketing, Collaboration, and partnership, etc. 

Conclusion 

It is always advisable to count the cost before you begin any business venture. Other necessary things involved in starting a solar energy business in Nigeria include registering your business, choosing a niche, drafting a business plan, and marketing. 

Did you know there’s a cost effective way of generating hot water for your home? Have you been searching for the best ways to use solar water heaters?

Solar water heaters can be used in any climate, so it is highly recommended. It makes use of renewable energy – the sun. 

In this guide, we’ll walk you through what solar heaters are, the uses and best ways to use solar water heaters. 

What are solar water heaters? 

A solar water heater is a device that generates hot water using solar heat energy. It is made up of a solar collector that is put on a building’s roof and connected to a water storage tank. Unheated water can be pumped from the tank through the collector to be directly heated, or it can be heated by a high-capacity heat-exchange fluid that was warmed in the collector and transmits its heat through tubes in the water in the tank, depending on the system. 

While heat transfer from the solar collector to the unheated water can be accomplished passively without the need of mechanical devices, “active” solar hot water systems rely on energy to circulate the heat-exchange fluid as well as to power mechanical pumps and controllers.

Types of solar systems 

  1. Active systems

Mechanical pumps and differential controllers are used in active solar hot water systems to regulate and guide the flow of the heat-transfer fluid or water from the solar collector to the tank.

  1. Passive systems 

Passive systems, which rely on gravity rather than electricity, are most efficient in hot climates where night or wintertime freezing is not present.

Read More: Solar energy and sustainable development

Uses of solar water heaters

The basic requirement for hot water is extremely costly because it consumes a significant amount of energy. Heating water consumes more than 18% of all domestic energy. The majority of houses and businesses get their energy from fossil fuels like gas and oil. The majority of modern household boilers are gas-powered and heat water on demand. 

Furthermore, many individuals prefer to heat their water with electricity, which is the most expensive technique of all. 

Humans also can’t deny that we use hot water on a daily basis, and that hot water is the lifeblood of various manufacturing operations. 

The introduction of “green energy” has aided individuals in adopting more efficient and sustainable means of carrying out daily tasks.

Read More: How To Read A Utility Meter

Benefits of using solar water heaters

There are numerous benefits of using solar water heaters, they include: 

Hot water throughout the year 

The solar water system works throughout the year, though you’ll need to heat the water with a boiler or immersion, especially during Harmattan. 

Reduced energy bills 

You don’t have to worry about bills anymore because the sun is free, so your hot water costs will be reduced. 

Lower carbon footprint 

Solar water heating is a renewable energy source that can help you lower your carbon footprint.

Conclusion

Leveraging the sun has numerous advantages. Solar energy has played a big role in generating hot water for the home. 

Fossil fuels are hazardous to the environment. Excessive burning of fossil fuels in the environment releases large amounts of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into the air. Greenhouse gases trap heat in our atmosphere, causing global warming.

Achieving solutions to the environmental problems we face today will require long term action plans for sustainable development. Renewable energy (e.g solar energy) is one of the most efficient ways to provide solutions for the environmental problems we face.

Sustainable development and solar energy are greatly intertwined.

Read More: Things that could affect your solar panel efficiency

What is sustainable development?

According to the United Nations, sustainability means “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Solar energy embodies this widely accepted definition of sustainability because the sun’s energy can be used indefinitely without diminishing its future availability.

In addition, most experts agree that the sun is the most important source of renewable energy.

Solar energy doesn’t just help reduce your electricity, it helps save humanity.

What are sustainable development goals?

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

Use of solar energy provides environmental, social and economic benefits that can accelerate the world’s trajectory towards SDGs. Solar energy contributes to the reduction of poverty, and access to affordable and reliable electricity.

Solar energy and sustainable development

What is the impact of solar energy on the environment?

The sun provides a tremendous resource for generating clean and sustainable electricity without toxic pollution or global warming emissions. The sun is finite. Hence, the use of the sun in generating electricity has the following advantages:

Conserves water

A lot of traditional electricity production requires the use of water. This can consume thousands of litres of water per year.

Water is used for cooling generators, processing and refining fuel and transporting fuel through pipes.

However, generation of power through solar panels does not require the use of water.

Read More: How to use your solar panel charge controller

Reduces air pollution

Burning of fossil fuels results in environmental pollution. It can generate harmful carbon dioxide and methane gases in the atmosphere which affects the air we breathe in.

Generating electricity from solar panels produces no harmful emissions, and the more homes and businesses that rely on solar power means less toxic emissions from fossil fuels into our air.

It reduces our reliance on fossil fuels

The energy from the sun is free, which means there’s enough to go round. Fossil fuels aren’t free, and they’re running out quickly.

Therefore, reducing our reliance on these finite resources and taking advantage of an abundant, free source of energy, such as sunlight, could mean lower energy prices, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and a stronger, more stable energy future.

Conclusion

Solar energy consumption leads to sustainable development. It creates a pollutant free environment, eradicates poverty and leads to economic growth.

Solar charge controllers are an essential element to any solar electric panel system.


These charge controllers prevent batteries from being overcharged and prevent the batteries from discharging through the solar panel array at night.


Keep reading to find out how solar panel charge controllers are used.


What is a solar panel charge controller?


A solar charge controller is a solar-powered voltage and current regulator. They are used in off-grid and hybrid off-grid applications to regulate power input from PV arrays to deliver optimal power output to run electrical loads and charge batteries.


Uses of a solar panel charge controller


Solar panel controllers are essential for the devices’ voltage and opening the circuit.

It also stops the charging when the battery voltage ascends to a certain level.


The solar charge controllers can also control the reverse power flow. The charge controllers can distinguish when no power is originating from the solar panels and open the circuit separating the solar panels from the battery devices and halting the reverse current flow.


Types of solar panel charge controllers


• Simple 1 or 2 stage controls


• PWM (pulse width modulated)


• Maximum power point tracking (MPPT)


Simple 1 or 2 Controls


It has shunt transistors to control the voltage in one or two steps. This controller basically just shorts the solar panel when a certain voltage is arrived at.


PWM (Pulse Width Modulated)


This is the traditional type charge controller, and they are essentially the industry standard now.


Maximum power point tracking (MPPT)


The MPPT solar charge controller is the sparkling star of today’s solar systems. These controllers truly identify the best working voltage and amperage of the solar panel exhibit and match that with the electric cell bank.


How to use your solar power controller?


To connect your solar panel controller to your solar panel, follow the instructions below:

• Connect the battery to the charge controller


• Connect the battery to the charge controller FIRST. Then you connect the solar panel SECOND.


• Now connect the battery cables to the battery terminals.

• Connect negative first, then positive.
Your charge controller should turn on or light up.

• Connect the MC4 Solar Adapter Cables to the Solar Panel
This step takes all of 20 seconds to do. Locate the MC4 connectors at the ends of your solar panel’s cables.

• Connect the MC4 inline fuse and positive solar adapter cable to the positive solar panel cable. Connect the negative solar adapter cable to the negative solar cable.

• Connect the Solar Panel to the Charge Controller


Now, your battery is connected and your solar panel wires are ready to go. Now, the next thing to do is to connect your solar panel to your charge controller.


• To do this, connect the negative solar cable to the “-” solar terminal on the charge controller. Connect the positive solar cable to the “+” solar terminal.


Previously with the battery connection, the charge controller should light up or somehow indicate that the solar panel is properly connected.


When this happens, they’re all connected. Now it is ready for use.


Conclusion


Solar charge controllers are essential elements for solar panels.

It helps in preventing overcharge or undercharge.

The steps involved in connecting a solar panel controller to your solar panel includes:


• Connect the battery to the controller


• Connect the MC4 Solar adapter cables to the solar panel


• Connect the solar panel to the charge controller.


Solar panels come in different types. Each type with its unique set of advantages and maybe, disadvantages.

It is important to know the different types of solar panels because your choice will determine cost and amount of roof space your solar installation requires.


What is a solar panel?


Solar panels are used to collect solar energy from the sun and convert it into electricity.


A solar panel is composed of individual solar cells. Each solar cell is made from layers of silicon, boron and phosphorus.

The boron layer provides the positive charge, the phosphorus layer provides the negative charge, and the silicon wafer acts as the semiconductor.


When the sun’s photons strike the surface of the panel, it knocks out electrons from the silicon “sandwich” and into the electric field generated by the solar cells. This results in a directional current, which is then harnessed into usable power.


The entire process is called the photovoltaic effect, which is why solar panels are also known as photovoltaic panels or PV panels. A typical solar panel contains 60, 72 or 90 individual solar cells.


Types of solar panel


There are three main types of solar panels that are commercially available. They include:

• monocrystalline solar panels
• polycrystalline solar panels
• thin-film solar panels


Monocrystalline solar panels


Monocrystalline solar panels are the most popular solar panels used in rooftop solar panel installations today.


Monocrystalline solar panels have unique features considered better than the other two types of panels. They are as follows:


•The pyramid pattern of the cells offers a larger surface area to collect more energy from the sun’s rays.


• The cells are coated with silicon nitride to reduce reflection and thereby increase absorption.


• The produced electricity is collected through metal conductors printed onto the cells.


• It has higher efficiency of conversion of solar energy into electric energy than its two other counterparts.


• These panels have longevity up to 30 years.


• These panels exhibit greater heat resistance.


Applications


Because of their many advantages, monocrystalline solar panels can be used as follows:


• Can be used as solar rooftops in urban and rural areas.


• These panels are highly recommended for solar applications on a larger scale – on vast tracts of uncultivable land.


• These panels are also useful for residential and commercial applications.


• These panels are extremely useful in lighting up gardens.

• These panels can form an array and used to power rural homes.


• These panels are perfect for street lighting as stand-alone panels.


Polycrystalline solar panels


Polycrystalline solar panels are solar panels that consist of several crystals of silicon in a single PV cell.


Features of polycrystalline solar panels include:


• Polycrystalline solar panels have lower heat tolerance than monocrystalline panels. So, at higher temperatures, these solar panels have lower efficiency than others.


• Polycrystalline solar panels have a higher temperature coefficient than monocrystalline panels.


• These panels have a high power density.


• They come with a structural frame of their own which makes mounting cheaper and simpler.


Application of polycrystalline solar panels:


• They can be used in large solar farms.


• They are suitable for roof mounted arrays.


• They are used in self-powered devices such as traffic lights, and off-grid households.


Thin film solar panels


A thin-film solar panel is made up of one or more thin layers of photovoltaic materials that are laid onto a substrate.


Features of thin film solar panel:


• They are more flexible and light weight


• Installation is much easier than the others


• These solar panels are most suitable for applications with large rooftops or wide open spaces.


Application of thin film solar panels


• They can be used in solar farms


• They can be used to power traffic lights and street lights.


• They can be installed in large-sized steel water tanks to provide electricity for pumping water.


Conclusion


Solar panels come in three main different types: monocrystalline, polycrystalline and thin film solar panel.

Knowing the difference between each of them helps you in making the right choice during solar panel installations.

Is it possible for your solar panel to lose efficiency? It is very possible! You didn’t know? Now you do. There are certain factors that affect solar panels, and this results to a decline in efficiency.


Knowing these factors will help you do better with maintenance.

In this article, we’ll be looking at things that could affect your solar efficiency.


Keep reading to find out more.


What is a solar cell?


A solar cell or photovoltaic cell is a device that converts the sunlight into usable energy. The amount of sunlight that can be converted into electricity is referred to as solar cell efficiency.


What are the things that could affect your solar panel efficiency?


There are some factors that should be taken into consideration to guarantee the optimal efficiency of the solar panels.


The factors include:


• Sun


• Installation issues


• Weather


• Mounting position


• Poor maintenance


Sun


As we know, the solar panels work with the amount of sunlight and not heat from the sun.

The greater the amount of light incident on the panels, the higher the efficiency of the solar panels.


Installation Issues


Unfortunately, there are problems that are caused from the very start, caused by a less-than-stellar installation job.


It’s important to remember that solar panel installation is not a simple or easy job.

It’s not just a matter of installing panels onto the roof — because the solar system is a source of energy for the entire home, it has to connect with the electrical grid, and a careless installer might not implement these connections as well as they require.


Also, the condition of the roof is also a major factor.


Weather


Solar panels are designed to stand on top of your home all day, every single day, for decades.

For this reason, they’re engineered to hold up well against the elements, but that’s not to say they’re completely immune.


Sadly, the weather can indeed have an effect on your solar panels, and in extreme conditions, can even damage them.


Mounting position


Even if your solar panels are perfectly installed with zero issues in the connections or structural integrity, they might not work at optimal efficiency if they’re not oriented well.


We all know that solar panels absorb sunlight, so they should be positioned in such a way that they get as much exposure as possible at all times of the day.


Poor maintenance


Maintenance is key in prolonging the life span of a thing.
In a case where you don’t carry out periodic clean up on your solar panels, the presence of dust and dirt on the solar panels will drastically reduce their efficiency. Regular cleaning is recommended for all solar panels.


Conclusion


Solar panels can lose its efficiency. Some of the factors that can cause this includes: Poor maintenance, mounting position, weather, installation issues and the sun.

Solar panel systems can last for years even with limited maintenance checkups. However, a little knowledge on solar power maintenance can go a long way because regular checkups will save you costly repairs down the road, and keep your panels looking nice and shiny.

Solar panels are exceptionally easy to care for. They’re made out of tempered glass, which holds up well in tough conditions, and there aren’t any moving parts. It’s also not a bad idea to be well versed with each solar component in order to maintain your solar panel system.

Thinking about ways to maintain your solar panels?

We have listed three easy steps to on how to care for your solar panels below. Let’s go!

How To Maintain Your Solar Panels In 3 Easy Steps

1. Clean regularly

In places that experience regular rainy seasons, solar panels do not need to be cleaned too often. The occasional rain will take care of any dust, or snow (if experienced) will melt faster on the panels than it will on the rest of the roof.  

However, it’s a good idea every few months to glance at the panels and make sure there is no residual dirt, dust or leaves. If there is, a light rinsing off with a hose should take care of the problem.

It is not advisable to get on the roof to clean the panels. If there is a serious dirt buildup, consider investing in a long-handled broom or hose. If there’s a buildup of leaves, consider using a roof rake to take care of this problem.

Read Also: Why Is Solar Power Important?

2. Do a regular checkup with a solar monitoring device

Solar monitoring makes certain that your solar panels are working properly by tracking the power output of your system. With solar monitoring, you gain 24/7 peace of mind that your panels are working as efficiently as possible.

This helps you know when to carry out cleaning and general maintenance of the panel to increase efficiency.

3. Employ the services of a professional

Cleaning solar panels is an uncomplicated procedure that you can take care of just as well as a professional. If you have a small installation, it pays off to clean it on your own because the cost of professional cleaning would exceed the estimated energy gain associated with clean solar panels.

Also, you can also ask your solar installer to clean your panels while he is performing routine technical maintenance. He can execute this task in complete security.

Conclusion

Solar panels generally require very little maintenance in order to function. The only thing they need is a periodic light cleaning, routine checkups or employing a professional to do the work.  


The sun gives off far more energy than we need to power everything on earth everyday. It’s no news that solar energy is the key to a clean green energy future.

There are numerous advantages attached to investing in solar power. Research has shown that burning fossil fuels regularly is hazardous to human health.

Think about it! Everyday the fumes from generators,industries, etc., produce large quantities of carbon dioxide when burned. Carbon emissions trap heat in the atmosphere and lead to climate change.

In this blog post, we’ll be covering reasons why you should use solar power, incase you’re yet to.

Let’s dive in.

5 reasons you should consider using solar power

1. It is beneficial to the environment

The most commonly known fact about solar energy is that it represents a clean, green source of energy.

Solar power is a great way to reduce carbon in the environment. There’s nothing about solar power that causes pollution.

Solar power doesn’t release any greenhouse gasses, and uses no resources, except for needing a source of clean water to function. It is safe and environmentally-friendly. Yet, people are still in doubt why solar energy is good.

You should be among the 1% of the population contributing to a sustainable future. All you need to do is install solar panels on your roof and do away with burning of fossil fuels. Starting on your home is a great way to show you care about the environment.

Read Also: How To Buy Solar Energy In Nigeria | Specifications & Prices

2. The sun is a renewable energy

The sun provides us with more energy than we could ever use, and no one can monopolise the sunlight.

The solar resource is enormous. According to the US Department of Energy, the amount of sunlight that strikes the earth’s surface in an hour and a half is enough to handle the entire world’s energy consumption for a full year.

The sun can never get exhausted, and so does your power supply.

3. Saves you from utility bills

Home solar panels and a home battery can offer freedom from the utility companies with predictable electric bills. This helps you avoid peak electricity rates and provides reliable back-up power when the grid goes down.

Solar service agreements can offer low and predictable rates that are typically less expensive than your electric company’s rates, so you can expect, on average, to pay less for power when you go solar.

Electricity is more expensive during periods of peak demand and less expensive during low demand periods. With a rechargeable home solar and battery system, you can avoid the most expensive rates.

4. It is very accessible

You may continue to wonder why solar power. With the increasing need of solar energy, it’s become easily accessible to most of us. Across countries, there are vast land that are far away from big cities or capitals, and are not used for anything at all.

With solar power, we can actually make use of the land and subsequently generate great value; solar energy provides a source of power for everyone. In this way, we don’t need to use high priced land that might be better suited for other applications.

5. Uninterrupted power supply

Rooftop solar power is helpful in increasing electricity efficiency, considering the short distance. Your energy becomes domestic and as a result you’re in control of your own bills and energy usage.

Furthermore, solar power systems are durable, thus chances of service interruption are reduced.

Conclusion

Solar power has numerous advantages. You’ll be saving the environment by investing in solar energy, have uninterrupted access to electricity, and saved from heavy utility bills.

GVE Projects Ltd, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, United Capital Plc, Dantata Food & Allied Products Limited (DFAP), NPF Microfinance Bank Plc, and CAP Plc were all big winners in the Nigerian Investor Value Awards (NIVA Awards) which took place at Lagos Continental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos on Saturday.

The NIVA Awards was organized by BusinessDay Media Limited, Nigeria’s foremost business and financial news provider in partnership with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) to celebrate CEOs of public companies who have created sustainable alpha-generating value through strategic intelligence, operating efficiencies, market leadership, and organizational values. The NIVA replaces the annual Top 25 CEOs & Next Bulls Awards.

Left to Right: CFO, Daniel Wilbert & Head HR Corporate Services, Shalom Shebrah

GVE Projects Ltd was recognized in the Next Bulls Award category with the likes of Eunisell Limited, Dantata Food & Allied Products Limited, Revolution Plus Property, Ultimus Holdings, Zylus Group International, Fortune Global & Shipping Logistics Limited, Xpress Payment Solutions Limited, SpringRock Group, and TGI Distri Limited were the awardees.

Representing GVE Projects Ltd was our CFO (Daniel Wilbert) and Head HR & Corporate Services(Shalom Shebrah) received this prestigious award on behalf of the company. In appreciation of the award, he said:

“It was an honor to have been a recipient of the Nigeria Investors Value Award (NIVA) under the Next Bulls Award category. GVE’s pace-setting innovative culture, whilst creating remarkable value to all our stakeholders has been instrumental to the uniqueness of the company in the marketplace. We are grateful to BusinessDay and the Nigerian Stock Exchange, organizers of this prestigious award.”

GVE Projects Ltd wins Nigerian Value Investor Award
Left to Right: Head HR Corporate Services, Shalom Shebrah & CFO, Daniel Wilbert

The occasion was graced by renowned personalities such as Oba Alayeluwa Saheed Ademola Elegushi, Kusenla III, Dame Gladys Olajumoke Simplice, president & Chairman of Council, the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Ibukunoluwa Oyedeji, president of CFA Society Nigeria, and many other distinguished members of the business community.

This year’s edition of the award ceremony gave recognition to leaders of public and private companies that have demonstrated both governance and investor appeal to qualify for a public listing if the owners choose to do so within the next three years.

Awardees were selected by a proprietary survey carried out by the BusinessDay Research and Intelligence Unit (BRIU). Respondents included equity analysts, retail and institutional investors, financial journalists, sectoral experts, and professional advisers.

Representing BusinessDay, Frank Aigbogun, publisher, said that a lot was happening which raised the hopes on the outlook for the stock market.

In his words, he said that;

“When COVID-19 hit Nigeria, many had thought that it signaled the end of times. But here we are, still standing… There is no denying that it was a tough year. At the same time, what stood out was the resilience and improvisation capacity of Nigerian companies.”

Newly appointed Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Exchange Limited, Temi Popoola, in his opening remarks said the awards, a collaboration between the Exchange and BusinessDay, have in the past seven years “seen exceptional leaders gain much-deserved recognition in their contribution to economic growth in Nigeria”.

In conclusion, Mr. Popoola said that “these prestigious awards are testimonials of the quality of leadership in Nigeria” and this goes to show how great the GVE Projects Ltd leadership and management is.

Once again, a feather has been added to our hat, and only who the crown fits can wear it with such excellence.

A utility meter can have so many numbers that you get confused when you take a look at it. The next option would be to call someone that knows how to read a utility meter to help. Although this can work, you’re likely to encounter situations wherein you can’t find help and that would be bad.

Reading a utility meter bill is not rocket science. There are a few things you need to know that would help you execute this task perfectly. And that is what we will strongly discuss in this article.  However, before we get into that conversation, let’s identify a utility meter.

What is a Utility Meter?

According to Wikipedia, a utility meter is any of the following metering devices used on utility mains which include electricity, water, gas, heater, etc. A good utility meter will give you information regarding the healthiness and effectiveness of a product.

Today, there are a lot of smart utility meters that help you automate some processes. With these meters, you don’t need to keep a strong track on your expenses all the time.

Functions of a Utility Meter?

Utility meters function in diverse ways. However, they basically have central functions that occur between all of them.

According to PSC, utility meters measure the amount of electricity or gas that you use, the utility installs a meter between the incoming electric power or gas lines and the point of distribution at your house. The meter monitors your daily power or gas usage, and the utility will send out a meter reader to record your usage.

Types of Utility Meters

There are two types of utility meters which include

  • The Standard Electric Meter
  • The Gas Meter

The standard electric meter is a clock-like device that records the amount of electricity you use. When your home draws electricity from the power lines, a set of small gears inside the meter move. The number of revolutions gets recorded by the dials that you see when you look at your meter. The speed of the revolutions is determined by the amount of power that is consumed. 

On the other hand, a gas meter works by measuring the force of the moving gas in the pipeline. The dials turn faster as the flow of gas increases.

Further Reading: How To Buy Solar Energy in Nigeria | Specifications & Prices

How to Read a Utility Meter

When you want to read a utility meter, you have to first discover whether it is a digital meter or an analog one. The type of meter will determine the process involved in reading the meter.

How to Read an Analog Electric Meter

If you want to read an electric meter, there are four major steps you should follow.

Step 1

Understand the parts of your analog meter (also known as a dial meter) and how it works. Your meter usually has about four tosix dials that advance as a central disk turns. The disk is controlled by the electricity passing through the meter, giving a readout of how much electricity you are using.

This readout is given in kilowatt hours. One kilowatt hour is equal to the amount of energy it would take to power a 100-watt lightbulb for 10 hours. Most times, there’s a variety of words and numbers printed on the face of your electric meter. While these are not important in determining your electric usage, they do give you information about the mechanical details of your meter.

Step 2

Read the dials on your meter. Read them as though you were consulting an academic material. Begin on the left, writing the numbers down as you go. After you mark a number for each dial across, you have the electric meter reading.

Do not let the direction of the numbers on each dial confuse you. Some of the dials will be numbered clockwise and other dials may be numbered counterclockwise.

Look exactly where the arrow is pointing. If the arrow is positioned between 2 numbers, the reading is the smaller number. However, if the arrow is pointing directly on a number, verify what the number should be by referencing the dial to the right of it. If the arrow on that dial is past zero, the reading on the dial to the left is the number the arrow is pointing to. If the arrow on the right hand dial is not to or past the zero yet, the reading on the dial to the left is the previous number.

Step 3

Find out how your electric company read the last dial. Some companies round up to the next highest number while other companies record the number that the arrow is closest to. If you want to calculate your kilowatt hours on your own and you need calculation close to what the electric company does, it is beneficial to know how the company reads this last number.

Step 4

Calculate the kilowatt hours you have used. Most electric companies don’t reset the meter to zero after every reading. Hence, in order to calculate the number of kilowatt hours you have used, you need to keep track of consecutive readings. Subtract the current reading from the last reading you were billed for to get the most recent kilowatt hours used.

How To Read a Digital Electric Meter

To read a digital electric meter, you need to follow the right steps to ensure you get everything spot on. There are about three steps in this place for people who want to read this meter. They include:

Step 1

Understand the different parts of your meter. A digital electric meter records the amount of electricity your household is using electronically. Thus, a digital electric meter is much simpler to read than a traditional meter because it has fewer readings to decipher.

Unlike traditional analog electric meters, many digital meters transmit your meter reading wirelessly to the electric company via radio frequencies. This means that you will not have a meter reader come to your house to read your meter. If you prefer to keep your traditional meter, it may be possible in some municipalities to avoid having a new “smart” meter installed.

Step 2

Your meter should have a digital readout that gives you one long series of numbers. The exact configuration on this readout will vary depending on the manufacturer and the readout could include .

Do not let the direction of the numbers on each dial confuse you. Some dials will be numbered clockwise and they may number counterclockwise other dials.

Step 3

Calculate the kilowatt-hours you have used. Most electric companies don’t reset the meter to zero after every reading. Hence, in order to calculate the number of kilowatt-hours you have used, you need to keep track of consecutive readings. Subtract the current reading from the last reading you were billed for to get the most recent kilowatt-hours used.

Conclusion

Knowing how to read an electric meter bill is a handy skill as it helps you keep track of your electrical voltage capacity, which will help you budget properly when you need to renew it. Although many people use digital meters today, there’s still no harm in learning how to read an analog meter well.

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