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Can ‘renting’ solar panels reduce Pinoys’ electricity bills?

/ 02:49 PM April 06, 2017

A local solar company believes that making solar panels available to Filipinos through leasing contracts will make renewable energy more accessible in the Philippines.

Solar Philippines, in a statement, said it will make “Solar Leasing” available to households and small businesses. It compared the program to Elon Musk’s Tesla and SolarCity, which paved the way for the installation of solar panels in millions of homes in the United States.

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READ: Why solar power for poor households in PH is key to sustainability

The leasing contract will be offered at zero upfront cost through a rate that is supposed to be less than the amount of money the customer will save.

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“This will enable Filipinos to save 20 to 30 percent on electricity at no cost, and liberate them from regular blackouts affecting some parts of the country,” the company said. It said a similar scheme has already been implemented by the company through contracts with mall chains.

Among the areas that will be covered by the initial program run are Manila, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Bacolod, Palawan, Mindoro, and other cities known for having expensive electricity rates.

“While some people want to save Planet Earth, everyone wants to save on electricity, and we hope this new model can bring solar panels from one percent of rooftops to 100 percent in a few years,” said Solar Philippines President Leandro Leviste in the statement.

Leviste said they are looking for partners in various areas to help market the program.

Solar Philippines recently opened the country’s first solar panel factory. It claims that the factory allowed them to “generate solar energy cheaper than coal.” Last month, it broke ground for a 15-megawatt solar farm, which will house 450,000 panels over 150 hectares of land.

READ: P9.75-B solar power project breaks ground

“Utilities continue to sign up with expensive coal, gas, and diesel, despite that solar is already cheaper,” said Leviste. “It may be more practical for solar farms with batteries to supply the utilities, who supply consumers. But until utilities divorce fossil fuel, going direct to consumers is a necessary step. We hope that, when they see millions of Filipinos choosing solar over fossil fuel, they, too, will shift to cost-saving renewable energy.” JE

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TAGS: Electricity, Energy, Power, Renewable Energy, solar leasing, Solar Panel, Solar power
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