Getting “solarized”


I have been writing about solar energy and its benefits in this column already for so many months now and some of you have been asking how you could avail of it and its benefits.

Well, it is actually very simple to get your homes or business places “solarized” just as I have done with some of my establishments and you would even save something like 80 percent of your energy costs by doing so in the long run.

If you apply through our Glad to be Green Program, it would be better for you because connected banks and the United Nations (UN) itself give priority to applications through advocacy groups like these. The UN even gives a carbon footprint credit to advocacy groups like our Glad to be Green Program for advocating this.

If interested, there are application forms at the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), Banco de Oro (BDO) and at the Metropolitan Banking Corporation (Metrobank) to apply for solar power systems. They have some monthly payment plans that may interest you.

Actually, there is even a company that doesn’t only provide the usual glass-covered solar panels that you put on your roofs, but ones that look like roofs themselves, and they even have film strips that are used to cover glass window panes like the ones on car windows that do the job of collecting solar energy just like the panels.

A few months ago, in a simple ceremony graced by no less than Senator Teofisto ‘TG’ Guingona III, the current Philippine Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chairman, a solar-powered perimeter lighting system donated through us by the Guam Consortium Builders Inc. was turned over to the Baguio Cathedral for free as part of their corporate social responsibility to the public.

This turnover ceremony also served as the formal launching of our Glad to be Green Program which kick-started of our campaign to make Baguio City a solar-powered city with clean and renewable energy.

This donation resulted after some meetings with Bishop Carlito Cenzon of the Baguio – Benguet Vicariate; Rev. Fr. Felimon William, parish priest of the Baguio Cathedral; representatives of the foreign firm; and our Glad to be Green Program group to finalize plans of setting up the solar power facilities for the surrounding grounds of the church.

Guam Consortium Builders donated the solar energy and induction lighting facilities, and will remotely monitor the lighting system via the web to enable them to respond quickly to system support requirements.

This system allows for ease of use with data logging and visual displays to remotely monitor it, and once in place, potential savings of the Vicariate of Baguio and Benguet in operating the Cathedral could reach up to thousands of pesos per month.

After the Baguio Cathedral, next to be solar-powered by them and  two other firms – Scremir Philippines and CEnAg Inc. under our Glad to be Green Program – will be the Bishop’s House, the Porta Vaga mall, and later on the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, as well as at the Baguio City National High School main campus.

This resulted after I had the very glad opportunity to get the help of Guam Consortium Builders’ Chit Sarmiento and Scremir Philippines president Ronnie Gumalinda to “adopt” these places as their corporate social responsibility beneficiaries by setting up solar roofing and induction lighting there to promote them as clean and sustainable energy sources. This would make the mentioned places save up to 60 to 80 percent of their electrical expenses and put these savings to better use.

These modern systems have a lot of uses that would include street lighting, perimeter lighting, billboard lighting, pathway lighting, car park lighting and high-bay lighting in malls, general lighting, service area lighting, accent lighting, cove lighting, wall washing lighting, down lighting and pin lighting.

As of this month, so as to save at least 70 to 80 percent of their electrical power expenses, Camp John Hay and the Baguio Country Club are also planning to avail of our Glad to be Green solar powered projects.