An all women’s mosque is a rarity in itself, but Ambar Shaista, the founder of Ambar Mosque, is not done being the pioneer of much-needed change. Thanks to solar stalwarts 8minutes, Ambar Mosque’s rooftop boasts a shiny 1 kilowatt solar panel, designed to save the mosque more than 70 percent on their annual energy bill.
We spoke to Mr. Arjun Srihari, a founding member of 8minutes, curious as to why they decided to lend a helping hand to Ambar Mosque. As Arjun explains it, the biggest obstacle for the wide adoption of solar energy in India is the initial cost, even though converting to solar energy offers consumers one of the best returns on investment. “Our inspiration was very simple, we want to show that going solar is affordable and people can do it with zero cost,” he told us. This is because 8minutes offers a one-stop solution, taking care of everything right from the installation to maintenance and the financing of the solar panels.
Arjun explains, “In order to help the transition to solar we are trying to remove the factor of cost.” He continues, “ we wanted to be able to show a larger community doing this (as opposed to the erroneous notion only hardcore environmentalists make the tiresome effort of using solar), if a mosque can adopt a solar system without any issues it shows a large group of people they can easily go solar as well.”
Although solar can be considered a near perfect, clean energy source, Arjun is forced to spend a large amount of his time demystifying the difficulties of going solar. “It’s your duty to the environment to go solar,” he chuckles, further adding, “but that s#*^ doesn’t fly.” It seems spreading awareness is the name of the solar game.
That’s why outfitting Ambar Mosque with rooftop solar panels was so important. People are unaware of how easy it truly is to outfit their home or business with these panels. To counteract this misconception 8minutes has developed an online tool called Light Year, which allows people to calculate how much they will save by going solar in five minutes.
Arjun feels customer fatigue is a big problem, which is why they developed this quick solution for people to see how much they would save and better understand the vagaries of the electricity grid. “People using electricity don’t realize they are paying too much. In some parts of India 30 percent of the energy people are paying for never even comes to their house. Especially in Lucknow, where the Mosque is located,” he comments.
So next time you moan and groan about high rates and shoddy service think about all the women of Ambar Mosque, saving costs in an environmentally-friendly manner. Maybe it’s time you spend five minutes to figure out how much you can save.
Feature Image Credit—Hindustan Times