Real estate residential developers have a certain influence in the property landscape. By prioritizing the interests of home buyers, developers deliver high quality community life in harmony with the environment. Imperial Homes Corp. (IHC) epitomizes such an innovative developer by pioneering the first solar-powered community in the country, Via Verde, that is located in Sto. Tomas, Batangas.
Via Verde prides itself as the first EDGE (Energy in Design for Greater Efficiency) certified development project in the Philippines. EDGE is the green building certification system for emerging markets implemented by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group.
Via Verde demonstrated that “solar powered community” is feasible, even in a low-cost housing project.
Home owners are provided with accessible and affordable electricity through the installation of hybrid and grid-tied solar systems in the rooftops of all the units.
The solar system supplies 24/7 energy and can power up basic household appliances of a typical Filipino family, to wit: refrigerator, television set, electric fans, washing machine, ironing, and electric outlets for laptops, chargers and lighting.
Through proper energy management, a homeowner can save as much as 80% in electrical consumption and can pay as little as P11/month of electricity bill.
Aside from having one’s own power supply, the solar power system also acts as a standby power generator in case of disasters and emergencies, while at the same time creating greener communities through reduced carbon emissions. The cost of this renewable energy system is already included in the selling price of every housing unit, with financing available from Pag-IBIG, BPI Family Bank, and soon, Bank of Makati for a maximum term of 25-30 years.
IHC was recognized this September as Green Technology Awardee of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Business Awards held in Manila for its pioneering initiatives to develop greener communities. The ASEAN Business Awards is organized annually by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council in order to bring to the spotlight top entrepreneurs and their businesses that contribute to the advancement of the ASEAN economy.
The Philippines, being a tropical country, should be able to take full advantage of the sun and benefit from solar energy. As a staunch advocate of green homes, IHC President, Emma Imperial, hopes that more local housing developers will follow the green path to community development through solar technology.
In the same vein, ASEAN member countries are encouraged to adopt this green concept to meet their countries’ housing backlogs in a way that will benefit their people and contribute to achieving energy conservation and climate change mitigation goals of their countries.
Jocelyn Sta. Ana is president of Enfinity Imperial Solar Solutions, Inc.