OpenSys launches buySolar, Malaysia’s first one-stop online solar marketplace

  • Platform provides end-to-end installation services, cost estimations, maintenance
  • Addresses financing and information gap in solar energy harnessing, partnering TNB

(L to R): Luke Sebastian, COO, OpenSys Technologies, Ir. Dr. Sanjayan Velautham, CEO of SEDA and CIMB Group and CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd chief executive officer Ahmad Shahriman.

Malaysia is a sunny country. Barring a few rainy seasons, the nation has relatively high irradiation levels, which makes for a good spot to harness solar energy. Yet there are barriers in place that deter both consumers and businesses from setting up their own solar panels on their rooftops.

Cost is an issue, which makes it hard for people to justify spending thousands to save on electricity. There’s also the problem with financing – where do you get them? What financial institution offers them? More crucially, how does one get around to find the right solar provider to get things set up?

buySolar aims to solve all that. Created by OpenSys Technologies Sdn Bhd (a subsidiary of OpenSys Bhd), buySolar positions itself as Malaysia’s first “one-stop online marketplace”, with the goal of providing consumers and businesses a platform to get the solar products and services needed under one roof.

It goes beyond serving as a marketplace for solar products. The platform provides end-to-end solar installation services, which includes cost estimations, solar installer selections, standardised quotation, online monitoring of maintenance and after sales services.

On top of that are financing options available to customers, not to mention features allowing users to track their solar-harnessing progress. There’s even a built-in chat to allow end-users to speak to solar providers directly.

“Sourcing for reliable solar panel installers and getting the right financing option can be challenging for Malaysian customers because of the complexity of the process and lack of awareness of the trusted financing partner,” says OpenSys Technologies chief operating officer Luke Sebastian.

“The objective of buySolar’s platform serves to consolidate all the processes, which includes the buying, installing, and servicing the panels, making it a one-stop solution which is easy for Malaysians to utilise renewable energy in their everyday lives and businesses.”

Partners in place

buySolar is supported by the Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) Malaysia, a government body authorised to implement the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) as well as the Net Energy Metering (NEM) programmes.

Other partners of buySolar are GSPARX Sdn Bhd and TNBX Sdn Bhd, two subsidiaries of Tenaga Nasional Bhd. The former is a registered photovoltaic investor that provides end-to-end solutions ranging from consultation to installation, maintenance and monitoring; while the latter offers the Supply Agreement for Renewable Energy (SARE) scheme and provides contracting, metering, billing, collection and customer management for asset owners and investors.

According to Sebastian, engaging with GSPARX means that the photovoltaic (PV) investor will bring on board 22 registered PV service providers into buySolar. “With them coming on-board, we expect them to bring along their reputed service providers and provide customers the best value,” he says.

The official financing partner is CIMB Bank Bhd and CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd, which offers their financing options specifically for solar energy in the form of green loans.

CIMB Group and CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd chief executive officer Ahmad Shahriman says that CIMB has allocated US$24.1 million (RM100 million) for renewable energy financing.

“CIMB’s financing – from as low as US$4,825 to US$241,000 (RM20,000 to RM1 million) – covers 100% of the cost of acquiring and installing renewable energy technology. This collaboration also feeds into CIMB Group’s commitment to UNEP-FI’s Principles for Responsible Banking, and initiatives with positive Environmental, Economic and Social (EES) impact on our society.”

Sebastian notes that a home owner can have a solar panel installed from as low as RM20,000 adding that people can reap energy savings that potentially range from 54% to 85% depending on the energy used and the size of the rooftop.

More information can be found on www.buysolar.my

 

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