As Oasis evolves, we will become ever more focused on energy efficiency because it’s going to be a huge area over the coming years. We all, both domestically and commercially need to find ways of reducing energy so that we can get to grips with rising costs.
Energy efficicency is already a hot topic but I think the innovations in this area are only just beginning to take off. As such, one of the things that I shall be doing in this blog is drawing attention to ground breaking innovations in our space that might be relevant to you on a personal level, or if not, will hopefully be something of real interest.
Today, I want to draw your attention to a company and a solar innovation that’s going to change the lives of millions of people, specifically those living in rural developing countries. It’s an amazing invention from a company called VNL in India, and they are winning all sorts of accolades around the world. Time Magazine has profiled them under their feature on ‘Tech pioneers that will change your life’.
WorldGSM™ is the first solar powered mobile network designed from the ground up to serve rural populations in developing economies — and do it profitably. Basically, they have created a solar powered mobile phone base station that has no requirement for the electriciy grid. VNL’s base station needs less than 100 watts of power, costs $15,000 (vs. $100,000 for a conventional one) and is profitable at just $2 of revenue per user per month. Traditional GSM (global system for mobile communication) stations break even at $6.
What a fantastic innovation in the solar space!
Every now and then one reads an article that doesn’t necessarily tell you anything you didn’t already know but it serves as a big wake up call. That’s what happened to me when I stumbled across this article about Richard Branson and others warning us of huge increases in bills coming our way. The article is actually directed at the UK but it’s the same problem for everyone. Oil is running out and inflation is ramping up….as if we needed any more bad news right now! Unfortunately, that means the cost of all our basic requirements are set to surge, especially things like heating/hot water.
In fact, the estimates in the article are very conservative. They talk about the cost of oil set to climb to a “sustained level over $100 dollars over the next five years”. Bearing in mind that oil has already peaked at $147 a barrel, the basic rules of supply and demand can only lead to one conclusion. Demand from highly populated countries like China and India are increasing all the time as they become more industrialised, and when it comes to supply, oil is running out. Combine that with increasing inflation, and I think the price of oil could sustain a level over $200 in the next five years, nearly three times what it is now. Not just our bills but everything from food to transport will go through the roof.
I believe we should all be doing whatever we can to invest now in ways to protect ourselves from these difficulties in the future. Energy efficiency and renewable energy are crucial for the future – that cannot be emphasised enough! As I write this, the rain continues to fall but luckily here in Andalucia, we know that we get more hours of sun than almost anywhere else in Europe so we are lucky that we can really take advantage of solar power. What’s more, the local government is even providing a huge amount of the investment up front in the form of grants and subsidies, both for domestic and commercial purposes. I think investing in solar power now is what they call a “no brainer”!
Here is the link to the article I’m referring to: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/oilprices/7203172/Britain-faces-oil-crunch-within-five-years-Richard-Branson-warns.html
Somewhere along the way, air conditioning units seem to have fallen into the same category as TV’s or fridges. In fact, it’s not just air conditioning units but all types of heating and cooling systems, including underfloor heating and solar systems.
That is to say that we – the royal we – are prepared to invest good money for them in the first place, and then we seem to think “that’s it!”…..we can just leave them alone and they’ll last for many years with no problems. Obviously, the better and more reliable the brand – like Mitsubishi Electric or Daikin – the less likely there will be any issues. However, they are NOT in the same category as other standard household appliances. In fact, they are much more like cars. To get the best out of them, they need regular servicing and looking after. Whilst that may require a small amount of investment along the way, the likelihood is that it will save you a lot of money in the long term.
The other day we got called out to repair a couple of air conditioning units in Marbella that had been installed by another company several years ago. It involved replacing a couple of parts and the lady in question was shocked at how much it all came to. When I asked how many times she had her system serviced since the installation, she looked at me blankly as if I was mad! Luckily, after explaining to her a bit more about how these things work and why we believe maintenance is a necessity not a luxury, she was actually quite grateful for the explanation. She had no idea about the need for maintenance….that wasn’t her fault…it’s probably the collective fault of those of us who work in the industry for not communicating this properly over the years.
The fact is that all heating/cooling systems do require maintenance. It might seem like a cost that you would like to avoid at the time but there is a strong chance that you will end up regretting not making that small investment along the way. Not only will you avoid expensive repairs and replacements, but your system will run more efficiently and therefore save you on monthly bills too. As I mentioned before, think of them more like cars. If you don’t look after them, they can become very expensive. For the cynics out there who might think we are promoting maintenance for our own benefit only, one must remember that we probably make more money on repairs!
We understand that saving costs is a big factor in everyone’s lives right now and it’s important for us to gain people’s trust in this regard.
It’s that time of year when we pick up that bill from Endesa and dread to think what we’re going to have to fork out this time. The cold weather and shorter days mean more heating, more lighting, and more money coming out of our back pockets. However, the truth is that the bills aren’t just getting bigger during winter – the general consensus is that all our utility bills will continue to increase over the coming years at an alarming rate, especially if the anticipated inflation really comes our way.
That’s why there has never been a better time for people to be thinking about tapping into all that free energy given out by the sun, especially if you happen to live in Andalucia. The coast wasn’t named ‘Costa del Sol’ for nothing! I am of course referring to solar technology and the potential that solar has to generate huge savings for domestic and commercial purposes. If there is one place in Europe where it’s almost criminal not to have solar installed, it has to be Andalucia.
One of the main objections in the past has been the cost of getting solar installed in the first place and the length of time it takes to recuperate that cost. Well, it seems there is a big lack of awareness that there are huge grants available from the government of Andalucia, specifically from La Agencia Andaluza de la Energia, with regards to solar installations. The great news is that you don’t have to do all the paperwork to get these grants because we do that for you!
To acquire these subsidies, the installation company needs to have all the correct paperwork and the necessary accreditation from the government of Andalucia to be able to do apply for these grants. Oasis Solutions is only one of a handful of companies that has the relevant authorisation.
So as we edge towards the end of January, dreading the next set of bills to come in, why don’t you at least give yourself some peace of mind that you are taking the first steps to lower bills in the future? Solar energy for all those living on the Costa del Sol or anywhere in the south of Spain has to make good sense, especially when so much of the initial investment is being subsidised.
I guess we’re not too far into January to begin by wishing everyone a happy new year!
One of January’s redeeming features is that it heralds a fresh start. We all like to start the year with fresh ideas, hopes and ambitions. And so it is with Oasis that we begin the year with a brand new website. However, the new website isn’t just a new ‘lick of paint’, but rather an effort to communicate properly the nature of our company and what we do.
Although Oasis started out as a specialist air-conditioning company ten years ago, specifically serving domestic and commercial clients near Malaga, we have since evolved into a bigger company with a greater geographical reach and a broader range of services. However, we haven’t been very good at communicating that properly but then again, it’s fair to say that we haven’t really needed to. All of our clients over the years have come from word of mouth – but there’s nothing like a recession to force you to get your house in order!
The reality is that over the years we have substantially expanded our services by bringing in new fully qualified engineers and technicians. We are now authorised by the Ministry of Industry to carry out installations, maintenance and repairs for a whole range of services including all types of heating and cooling requirements (including heavily subsidised solar installations, but more about that next time), electrics, plumbing, water treatment, and all services related to swimming pools. Not only that, but our Oasis branded vans can be seen darting about anywhere from Nerja to Sotogrande, and I’m not just referring to the Costa del Sol buy many places inland too.
So, if any of your fresh ideas for 2010 relate to any of the above, I hope we can be of service!