With the erratic power supply and the increasing cost of power in Nigeria, a lot of people are thinking maybe an inverter will help solve these two problems altogether. Inverters systems used to be very expensive to purchase some couple of years back but it seems to be a little cheaper these days majorly due to the entrant of new and varied brands and distributors. You have to be careful though because I am a strong believer in the saying that what you buy is what you get; not all inverters are the same. We’ll take about that some other day. Today, I am going to be talking about the impact of installing an inverter system on your monthly electric power bill.
My Short History With Inverters.
I installed my first inverter in 2014; of course, I installed it myself as most readers of our site know, I like doing things myself as much as possible. It was a very simple inverter in bought from a popular Chinese eCommerce site (Aliexpress); I think it was sold for about 50USD. It was a simple device rated at 300W that did its job while producing a whole lot of heat. Since then, I have bought and used about 8 different inverters with power ratings of up to 3,500kva, so I have a little knowledge about those things. Before we answer the major question let’s quickly remind ourselves what inverters are supposed to do.
How do Inverters work?
Simply put, Inverters systems are designed to convert the Direct Current (DC) stored most times in battery; into Alternating Current (AC) for use in the house. All your electrical devices in the house that you plug into the wall use AC. Why we have two different types of currents is for another day. The inverter simply does the conversion from DC to AC (this is why you might see some devices labeled as Inverters/Chargers, what the mean is that the device converts to Battery Power (DC) to AC and also charges the batteries; although most inverter also charge the batteries these days).
You basically store energy in a battery (Chemical Energy) and your inverter converts its back to Electrical Energy for your use in the house.
Do Inverters reduce your energy bill?
The simple answer is no. Inverters are meant to be a backup system; they are supposed to give you access to power during blackouts. Without getting too scientific, the first law of thermodynamics, also known as the Law of Conservation of Energy tells us that energy can not be created or destroyed, but can only be transformed from one form to the other. When you are charging a battery with Power from the power company, you are converting Electrical Energy into Chemical Energy and as stated before your inverter too will convert this Chemical Energy back to Electrical Energy when you need it. To say the truth, during all these conversions, some energies are released as heat mostly and lost to the environment, this is why the efficiency of an inverter is never 100%, this lost energies will also make up part of your bill.
Do Inverters increase your energy bill?
This is the opposite side of the question we asked earlier, some people can swear that their energy bill went up when they installed an inverter. Is this true? The answer is a simple YES. Wait before you rush off, as we say before, your inverter stored energy in the batteries right, that’s the extra energy you are now paying for, the inverter is just doing what you expected it to do, the losses due to heat and inefficiencies are very tiny you might not even notice them. You are only paying more for the energy stored, the inverter can not generate energy by its self, remember our law of thermodynamics.
Should you get an Inverter?
I will say yes if you can afford it; even though it might lead to an increase in your monthly bill, it is still way cheaper than you running your generators for those extra hours of power in the long run. You can ask your question in the comment section and send us an email here, we will be glad to answer your question.