Category: Community Living

No more power failures in your residential complex!

Unless you live in one of the super-exclusive localities in India, power failures will be an all too familiar concept. As you go further into the interiors, frequent power cuts become the norm instead of the exception. And the way the power situation appears, India will be experiencing a major shortage of power in the coming years irrespective of the efforts of the government. Sure, we have diesel generators for back-ups. But with the increasing cost of fuel and the environmental impact of fossil fuels, it’s not the wisest choice either.

So what’s the solution? For a country like India, which enjoys an average of 300 sunny days, the answer is blowing in the air: yes, Solar Energy. Environmental-friendly, renewable, and being completely free, solar energy should be the obvious future for India. It should be the ideal solution for residential complexes like yours to reduce power cuts as well as your electricity bills.  All it needs is the will and the foresight to make an investment that will pay dividends in the years to come.

Use of Solar Power in Residential Societies

A wonderful example of a residential complex going solar right from inception is Rabi Rashmi Abasan (http://www.bengaldcl.com/Rabi_rashmi.htm) society in Kolkata. This complex consists of bungalows with each bungalow being fitted with solar photovoltaic panels on their rooftops. In turn, each bungalow is fitted with a solar heater that is connected to the kitchen and bathrooms. These solar panels generate around 60 units of electricity every day – which is about two units for every home. The complex still uses power from the main electricity grid, but the dependency and thus the bills, are much lower. Any surplus energy that the society generates gets pushed back into the state power utilities. The difference between what the society uses from the power grid and what it pushes back is monitored and the society pays the balance to the electricity board. This project was envisioned by the West Bengal government, to showcase how solar power can drastically reduce traditional power consumption in modern homes.

Cities Encouraging Solar Power

Rabi Rashmi is an example of just one project. There’s an example of a city that has adopted solar energy as the way to power its future. No, it’s difficult to guess the city as it’s not one of the metros or even one of the other larger cities. The city we are talking about is Thane in Maharashtra.

Their effort started a few years back when they introduced solar panels at the Rajiv Gandhi Medical College. The introduction of solar heating reduced their electricity bills by a whopping Rs. 9 lakh per annum as it heated around 19,000 litres on a daily basis. Buoyed by the success of this exercise, the Thane Municipal Corporation offered a 10% cut in property tax for those residential complexes that adopt this facility. It was noticed that societies that adopted solar heating were able to recover their costs as early as three years.  So successful was the experiment that the corporation has now made it mandatory for all upcoming complexes to have solar water heaters as part of their facilities.

Cities like Bangalore and Pune are other examples where the government is taking proactive steps to encourage the use of solar energy. Bangalore has the largest deployment of rooftop solar water heaters in the country, generating a daily equivalent of 200 MW, with 60% of the city’s household and industrial units using solar water heaters. It also offers an incentive of Rs. 50 on monthly electricity bills for residents using roof-top thermal systems. This is now being mandatory for all new structures. Pune is the other city, which, like Thane and Bangalore, has made installation of solar water heaters in new buildings mandatory. At present, it is estimated that 20 per cent of houses in Pune are using solar water heating units.

Power Solar Equipments for Residential Use

Residential solar panels are available in various shapes, sizes and categories. You should select the panels depending on your requirement and your investment ability. For a typical household that uses four Compact Fluorescent (CFL) bulbs of nine watts, a fan and a television set for six hours every day, the solar panel would cost around Rs 25,000. To run all the fans, lights and other gadgets, the cost would be anywhere between Rs 30,000 and 60,000. And if you plan to install a 100-litre water heater, the cost will be around Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 20,000.

Residential complexes could start with using the energy generated to power the common facilities in: the lawns, the passages, the fans, lights and computer in the society office, the security cabin, club house, etc. You could then move to installing solar heaters for all residents of your complex. Studies show that as much as 25% of a household’s electric consumption is for heating water! Imagine if that cost can be totally eliminated for life! You can also consider replacing your diesel-guzzling back-up generators with environment-friendly solar power. With fuel prices on the rise, this is one investment that can show healthy savings in the immediate future.

Once installed, maintaining solar panels is pretty easy. They are flexible enough to be moved from one place to another. If you can keep it away from dirt and pollution, you won’t need to service it regularly either. All you need to maintain it properly is clean and wipe it regularly so that the efficiency of the panel is always at a high.

Government Incentives

IREDA (Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency) provides soft loans at 2% to domestic users, 3% to institutional users not using accelerated depreciation and 5% to industrial/commercial users availing depreciation. The government also provides an interest subsidy, besides a 5% rebate on property tax. You can check details of all incentives offered by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) under the recently launched Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission here. The Delhi government provides a rebate of Rs. 6,000 for every solar water heater you install.

The onus is now on us. Are we up to it? Residential complexes can take the initiative and use solar power to reduce their power consumption, avoid power cuts and cut down on electricity bills. Although the initial investment may seem high, once adopted the future benefits of solar energy to the residential complex as well as to society at large is simply immense.


This article aims at collating and providing information on using solar energy for residential complexes for benefit of ApnaComplex customers and blog readers. While ApnaComplex has taken every care to ensure the information is accurate, we suggest to please use the information in the article only as a guidance for further discussion and action with help of relevant professionals. If you need professional advise on this topic or any other property related matters, please send your request through our contact us form. You may post your questions/inputs in the Comments section below and we will try and get them answered through relevant subject matter experts. 

And they lived happily ever after….!

Ask anyone in the Managing Committee of an apartment complex or a residential layout, and most of them will confess that it’s the most thankless job one can think of. What makes the job a challenge is the brickbats that follow even after having worked in the best interest of all. “You can never please everyone” is a truism that every apartment managing committee member learns early enough in their tenure!

But all’s not lost! If you’re a managing committee member, we are glad to reveal that there is a way you can actually reduce your work and even win some praise for the efforts you put in.

To begin, we’ll have to first understand where most managing committees stumble in getting along with the members/residents of the apartment complex or layout. Broadly, the issues that residents have with their managing committees can be classified under the following heads:

a.       Communication

b.      Complaint Resolution

c.       Transparency in Expenses

We are sure you’ll agree that almost 90% of the criticism that members of owners association have against their managing committees fall under these three heads. When it comes to communication, the most common grouse is that the managing committee didn’t communicate early enough or clearly enough. When it comes to complaint resolution, there are always comments from other members of the association saying that no complaint gets attended in time, same issues keep happening and so on. As for expenses, the lesser said the better. Members will always claim that they do not know where the money is being spent, that the Association should have curtailed expenses under certain heads and got a better deal on something.  

Now, if an Owners Association can “manage” to get these three aspects of their functioning in control then you could have a managing committee that will actually be loved… or let’s make it… accepted by the other members of the association and residents of the apartment complex.

So how do we go about doing it?

The answer is simple: use tools that help your Owners Association become efficient and thus more effective! At ApnaComplex we offer online technology solutions that help Managing Committees streamline their workflow and create better synergies with residents of the apartment. The Single Directory View of Members allows managing committee to view details of each owner and tenant in the apartment complex or layout. The powerful Notification features that we have ensures that you can use the power of SMS and emails to communicate with every member of your society – or broadcast to only specific segments of your members – like residents and tenants.

The online Complaint Box feature of ApnaComplex registers, tracks, and closes complaints from all apartment members in a central place. Complaints shall be filed under various categories and tracked till closure. Residents can know the status of a complaint anytime and also how many complaints are attended to by the maintenance staff. Sure, that makes the residents happier.

Apart from these, ApnaComplex offers rich features to support your billing and expenses. The Maintenance Charge Tracking feature allows the Treasurer to raise invoices for various charges and tracks payments made against them. To make the life of a Treasurer even simpler, the Income Tracking feature captures the details of income from maintenance collection and other revenue heads. The Instant Receipts Issuance feature not only enables speedy creation of receipts but also enables members to view/download the receipts at any time. In addition, the Expense Tracking feature tracks expenses incurred under various heads and the Publish Accounts Statement publishes statements at the push of a button to all members and on to the notice board. Now, that’s total transparency.

 Finally, the Metered Billing feature ensures that invoices are generated for various metered utilities such as a piped gas or water meter against each house and their respective payments are tracked with in ApnaComplex!

If that covers 90% of all issues, we are glad to inform you that we haven’t missed out on the remaining 10% either. ApnaComplex has an Online Notice Board that ensures every one can post their needs to all members. Online Notice Board can be used by Managing Committee to ensure meetings and other events are known to everyone. To ensure that only authorized personnel can access the Management Committee features, ApnaComplex has an effective Role Based access control system. So while ApnaComplex can be used by all, the right to information and features is rigidly controlled.

If you are a member of an Owners Association or an owner/resident in an apartment complex or gated community, please register your complex now and experience how ApnaComplex can make your apartment management easier, efficient and effective. We are confident you are going to love what you see.


Live a perfect life with ApnaComplex

As a member of a gated community, you would be enjoying a level of comfort and security that people on the other side of the fence can only dream of. While this exclusivity translates into peace of mind, convenience and higher returns in terms of increased property and rental values, there are always some niggles or the other that could make you say “if only this was possible it would have been perfect!”

An instance would be the time you missed an important society meeting simply because someone forgot to inform you about it! There might also have been occasions when you may have wanted to make a complaint or request permission to hold a function but just didn’t get the time to write to the Managing Committee. Or maybe you wanted to share an important announcement with your fellow residents but couldn’t get the approval of your Committee in time. Then of course there are those notices lost in transit, misplaced bill receipts, minutes of the meeting that didn’t reach you and so on. These are just a few of the many small but significant issues that leave you with a feeling that things could be so much better if only there was a more efficient way of handling them!

That’s exactly where ApnaComplex comes in. At ApnaComplex, we are dedicated to make the world you inhabit as complete as possible. For the sake of simplicity (another proof of our intention to make things better for you), we would categorize the benefits we offer in the following manner:

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ApnaComplex - Residential Layout and Apartment Complex Management Software

a)      Saving precious time

b)      Keeping your identity and data private and secure

c)      Making communication more efficient

d)     Providing financial information at your fingertips

e)      Improving social interaction with fellow residents

Now that we’ve listed the benefits, let’s take a quick look at how ApnaComplex actually makes them possible.

a) Saving precious time

  1. The speed and connectivity of an online platform ensures that you can connect from anywhere, anytime to carry out all your correspondences and get updated on all activities in your complex.
  2. Our focus on usability ensures that you spend the minimal amount of time on carrying out any activity: from responding to an email to posting an ad to checking your bill payments.
  3. A Dashboard view ensures that all your transactions and communications can be accessed easily and quickly.
  4. You can also save time and energy by booking your clubhouse facilities, library and other services online through ApnaComplex.
  5. Consolidated view to a member of all activities in the complex.

    Consolidated view to a member of all activities in the complex.

b) Keeping your identify and data private and secure

  1. With ApnaComplex, you can communicate with people within or outside your complex without revealing your email address. This ensures that while you are able to send and receive mails, your email id remains private until you choose to reveal it.
  2. Others can also contact you directly without having to know your email id.
  3. Your data is 100% secure even while transit. The entire portal is SSL enabled – which means peace of mind.

c) Making communication more efficient

  1. You can receive important information such as your maintenance dues, emergency repair schedules, association meetings, etc. directly from committee members by email/sms.
  2. You can raise, view, track complaints related to your house in one place. If you mange more than one house – whether within the same complex or outside – you can manage all activities using ApnaComplex in an integrated way.
  3. You can view the directory of all members as well as know the members on your Managing Committee and communicate with them.
  4. If you want to offer your house for sale/rent, you can simply put up an online classified ad in ApnaComplex that will be made available on the Internet. This ad can be accessed by people both within and outside the complex. This way, you not only save on the effort required to post your ad on various online sites you also save on hefty brokerage fees as you can get in direct touch with the lessee or buyer.

d) Providing financial information at your fingertips

  1. You can enter payments made to your association online and get confirmation on validation by the Treasurer.
  2. You can view a consolidated statement of all the charges and payments made for all the houses you own.
  3. You can view as well as download receipts in PDF format for the payments you made, any time (did we hear a sigh of relief from the Treasurer there?).
  4. You can see how the money is being spent on the complex maintenance with help of expense statement that Treasurers can publish every month.

e) Improving social interaction with fellow members

  1. You can publish notices online that will reach all other members.
  2. You can communicate with other members in your complex about upcoming events, meetings, and any other activity without having to know their email ids.
  3. You can know and reach your managing committee  members through our secure messaging feature.

This is just the beginning of what we’ve in plans for you. We are currently focusing on getting more information about local businesses and services at your fingertips and many more such features that offers you a little more convinience. We’ll keep you posted on the developments.

In the meanwhile please let us have your feedback on the features currently on offer. Good, bad or ugly – we’d love to hear from you. We’d also appreciate any ideas on features and functionality that will make ApnaComplex more useful for you. So please feel free to get in touch with us with your thoughts and comments. You can contact us here.

So, what are you waiting for? Register yourself and your complex. Now.