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Philippines: $3,577 home solar loans offered, will it be a game-changer?

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Manila: A cooperative in centralPhilippines has kicked off residential solar loans of up to $3,577 after it realised substantial savings from its own newsolar power system, realising its real-life benefits.

The Perpetual Help Community Cooperative, Inc. (PHCCI), based in Dumaguete City, on the central Philippine island of Negros, is celebrating substantial savingsin its monthly electric bill following its successful switch to harvesting electrons from the sun.

Starting January 2024, the cooperative has announced that it launched a pioneering step by offering loans of up to $3,577 (Php200,000) specifically for the installation of home or small business solar power systems, potentially providing a funding route for small-scale, distributed renewable energy projects.

PHCCI’s rooftop in Dumaguete City proudly boasts solar panels, reducing its carbon footprint and showcasing the tangible benefits of sustainable energy.

According to Cliffordson Lariosa, PHCCI’s Chief Operating Officer, the first monthly billing post-solar installation demonstrated a significant drop in power consumption by up to 40 per cent, or about Php80,000 off from an average monthly bill of Php200,000.

9,432 cooperatives

The move could be a template for financing by cooperative of small-scale renewable projects in the country, thereby rolling out distributed power revolution across the nation with 7,640 islands. There were 9,432 reporting cooperatives in the Philippines as of 2016, as per latest data available from the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA).

The combined production value of cooperatives in Philippines as of December 2015 was Php322 billion ($5.76 billion), according to the International Cooperative Alliance Asia and Pacific. Electric cooperatives are alsoactively involved in power distribution in most provinces.

Before adopting solar power, the PHCCI main office faced a monthly bill of Php200,000, translating to potential savings of up to Php80,000 monthly.

Lariosa said that the solar initiative aligns with the cooperative’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and supporting global climate change mitigation efforts.

Looking ahead, the cooperative said it plans to extend the advantages of solar power to residential owners starting January, offering loans of Php200,000 ($3,577) repayable over seven years. The solar panels and system installation will be handled by accredited third-party service providers.

SOLAR POWER: TYPICAL SYSTEM | INSTALLATION COST IN THE PHILIPPINES 5kw system: Php250,000 ($4,470)2kw system: Php150,000 ($2,682)1kw system: Php140,000 ($2,500)(Ballpark figues by solarlab.ph)• A good quality 5kWp solar system rangse in price from Php300,000 to Php500,000, accordingsolaric.com.ph

With ambitious plans to implement solar projects across all PHCCI offices nationwide, this cooperative is not just saving energy—it’s paving the way for sustainable practices in the Philippines.

PHCCI is an “open type” multi-purpose cooperative operating in Region 7 and 8, in the Visayas, central Philippines, serving more than 50,000 members with about Php2 Billion in assets, six branches and five satellite offices run by more than 100 employees.

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