Stress-free, Solar-powered Island Abode

In the beginning, life in a small island in the Philippines is exciting as well as relaxing with the surrounding pristine sea, fresher air, stunning sunsets and rainbows. The small inconveniences that make the island living different from the urban are tolerable when you don’t stay in the island full-time. It is when you already start spending more time in the island that the constant inconveniences mount up to become real stressors. Among the major stressors is the frequent blackouts and brownouts which are brought about by the following factors:

  • Equipment failures – Power is distributed to households and establishments through old, worn, complex equipment that have been exposed for a long, long time to elements.
  • Sudden spikes in energy demands – Even in the small islands in the Philippines, usage of air-conditioning units and electronics for use in houses, businesses, schools and churches have become fairly common. During hot season, expect a doubling or tripling of electricity usage.
  • Harsh weather – Lightning, strong winds during typhoons and monsoon seasons,earthquake and tornadoes could knock down transmission lines.
  • Fallen trees could cause interruptions and damage to power lines especially after typhoons.
  • Construction-related damages to power lines.
  • Illegal connections (commonly called ‘jumpers’ in the Philippines) could contribute to spikes in usage and contributory to ineffectual outcome of upgrades in the system.

I’m sure I missed some more factors but the bottom line is, power outages significantly affect the quality of daily life and businesses (especially those in F&B and hospitality) in the island. To keep complaining about it does not help and group discussions about solutions can either make one more frustrated or be prompted to act positively.

My husband and I acted positively and proactively. When we decided to build our retirement abode we already included in the plan the installation of solar panels and batteries to store the solar energy. Emergency lights that automatically switch on when there’s blackout at night, were also installed in many parts of the house.

ADVANTAGES of having SOLAR POWER:

  • It supports our advocacy on sustainable way of life. Solar energy is renewable, sustainable and inexhaustible.
  • It is non-polluting and environmentally-friendly.
  • It saves us money. Although initially we had to shell out cash for the materials and cost of installation of the system, every month since then, we already saved thousands of pesos from our significantly reduced electricity bill.
  • NO more WORRIES about:
    • foods that might get spoiled with the fridge power off during prolonged blackouts,
    • dark house for several hours,
    • sleepless or uncomfortable nights without aircon and electric fans,
    • guests that are traumatized by the unwelcome experience during their holidays, to the point where phone charging becomes a problem,
    • security cameras not working especially at night,
    • the electronically-operated gate getting stuck,
    • the jacuzzi spa features stopping while one is in the middle of a therapeutic bathing,
    • laptop use has to stop when the battery is already low on charge,
    • not being able to use the blender to make healthy smoothies,
    • not able to make refreshing and cooling drinks and shakes.

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