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November 28, 2014
Imperial Homes Corp. (IHC), an advocate of environment-friendly developments , has launched the first solar-powered mass-housing community in the country. Emma Imperial, IHC president and chief executive officer, said on Thursday that Via Verde, the country’s first solar-powered community, is composed of 1,000 mass-housing units in Santo, Tomas, Batangas. Imperial said each unit is equipped with 500-watt solar panels installed for free to allow buyers to enjoy lower electricity rates through a leaseback program offered by Enfinity Group. Enfinity Group is a Belgian company that finances, builds, owns , operates and maintains solar panels. It has entered a joint venture agreement with IHC for the latter’s solar-powered mass-housing project. “These solar-powered homes will dramatically reduce the cost of electricity and provide a greener environment for our housing projects,” Imperial told reporters in a press briefing. With this technology, buyers are expected to save up to P1 per kilowatt-hour of electricity consumption per month. The Via Verde solar-powered community is located in a three-hectare property with a combination of row houses and two-bedroom townhouses. Imperial said the project aims to alleviate the country’s mass housing backlog, currently pegged at three million units. The solar panels, she added, will the source power for daytime use and will be redound to the benefit of homeowners in terms of lower electricity costs. She pointed out that solar energy is ideal for communities because it is clean, renewable and sustainable. “It does not pollute our air. Solar energy does not contribute to global warming, acid rain or smog.” she said. Imperial said Via Verde’s contribution to renewable global efforts would translate to about $1.4 billion in fossil fuel consumption ans will eliminate 941,000 tons of carbon emmissions annually. She said the International Fiannce Corporation and the World Bank have recognized the project. The Transformational Business Model of IHC’s project was presented by Imperial during the WB Housing Conference in Washington, DC and the IFC’s Climate Business Forum in Hong Kong last October 29. “We expect to receive the World Bank’s EDGE (Exellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) certificate for Green Building anytime soon,” she said. For the Via Verde project, IHC has earmarked P600 million for the construction of housing units, while Enfinity wll invest $1 million for the installation of solar panels. IHC has lending support for the CBL Group, a United Kingdon and China-based company that provides green panels for the pre-fab and modular housing. – Manila Times -Ritchie A. Horario