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Choosing a solar panel installer in the Philippines

Choosing a solar panel installer in the Philippines

I’ve always wanted solar panels on my roof but neither had the clearance (been living with other people) nor the money to install them where I lived. Recently though I’ve moved to my own place so clearance was no longer a problem. As for the cost I was able to strike a business deal which covered most of the cost of the panels (more on that later).

There are a ton of solar panel installers in the Philippines. Before I tell you who I finally chose I’ll just give an overview of how it was to deal with them and how much they quoted for a 3kw system. (Note this was in 2016, prices may have changed by the time you read this.)

Solaric – No one responded to my inquiries so I had no quote from them.
Solar Philippines – Also no response.
Matec Solar Power – Around PHP360,000 for a 3kw system. This is all in, the price includes the panels, the inverter and installation.
Sol Energy Systems – The person spoke to couldn’t give me a quote and asked me to call back :l
United Solar – Initially the price was PHP300,000 but they were nice enough to reduce it to PHP285,000.
Miester Solar – Also no response.

So while there a lot of solar installers in the Philippines (and I’m sure there are many more that I did not contact), a lot of them could invest more in better sales staff.

I eventually chose United Solar and I am quite happy with them. One of the main reasons for my choice was because my primary contact there, Monica, was helpful and very conscientious about following up with me. The follow ups weren’t pushy but they were quite regular, around every 3 weeks or so. Even after I decided not to get solar (eventually I changed my mind) she would still touch base every now and then. It wasn’t a hard sell though, just an occasional reminder which I appreciated.

A large factor also was the cost, United Solar was the cheapest quote I got for a 3kw system. Usually you get what you pay for and I’m wary of the cheapest cost but since communication with United Solar was always very prompt, and they seemed to be on the ball, I decided to risk it.

The panels arrived around a month after I paid the 50% downpayment and installation took a day. The reason for the delay was the inverter was stuck in customs. The installation was very clean and the inverter fit nicely into the space we chose.

The installers and the head guy leading the installation, Bryan, were all nice and pleasant. Bryan in particular took the time to explain some of the numbers behind solar operation in the Philippines.

TL/DR: If you’re looking to buy solar panels in the Philippines, I fully recommend United Solar.

 

Whale sharks in the Philippines: Donsol or Oslob

Whale sharks in the Philippines: Donsol or Oslob

For nature lovers and adventure junkies, one of the attractions in the Philippines is getting the chance to swim with whale sharks. Whale sharks, or butanding as they are known locally, are the largest living species of fish.

If you’re interested in swimming with these gentle giants (whale sharks eat plankton and are not aggressive) then you can either go to Donsol (in Sorsogon) or Oslob (in Cebu).

So which place is better?

I’ve done both and I would strongly recommend going to Donsol instead of Oslob.

Image courtesy of wikimedia.
A butanding. Image courtesy of wikimedia.

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Smoke Belcher Alert #10

Smoke Belcher Alert #10

Air quality in Manila is poor and most of the pollution comes from vehicles.

We have laws in place that require all vehicles to undergo emissions testing before the vehicles’ yearly registration is released. As usual in the Philippines the law is admirable but its execution is twisted to make another racket for all the parties concerned.

The end result is that there are heaps of smoke belching vehicles on the road.

This is my continuing diary of spotting those vehicles. My corner of the internet is a quiet one. In all likelihood the owners of these vehicles will never know that there is video evidence of them smoke belching.

Still, this is my small time bid to try to document these polluters.

Vehicle: Jeepney
License Plate: PYM-599
Location: Kalayaan Ave. Makati near the intersection of Makati Ave.
Date 10-8-15

Smoke Belcher: PYM-599
Smoke Belcher Alert #9

Smoke Belcher Alert #9

Air quality in Manila is poor and most of the pollution comes from vehicles.

We have laws in place that require all vehicles to undergo emissions testing before the vehicles’ yearly registration is released. As usual in the Philippines the law is admirable but its execution is twisted to make another racket for all the parties concerned.

The end result is that there are heaps of smoke belching vehicles on the road.

This is my continuing diary of spotting those vehicles. My corner of the internet is a quiet one. In all likelihood the owners of these vehicles will never know that there is video evidence of them smoke belching.

Still, this is my small time bid to try to document these polluters.

Vehicle: Converted L300
License Plate: UWC-407
Location: J.P. Rizal Makati
Date 9-29-15

Smoke Belcher: UWC-407
Smoke Belcher Alert #8

Smoke Belcher Alert #8

Air quality in Manila is poor and most of the pollution comes from vehicles.

We have laws in place that require all vehicles to undergo emissions testing before the vehicles’ yearly registration is released. As usual in the Philippines the law is admirable but its execution is twisted to make another racket for all the parties concerned.

The end result is that there are heaps of smoke belching vehicles on the road.

This is my continuing diary of spotting those vehicles. My corner of the internet is a quiet one. In all likelihood the owners of these vehicles will never know that there is video evidence of them smoke belching.

Still, this is my small time bid to try to document these polluters.

Vehicle: Motorcycle
License Plate: ???
Location: Rockwell Flyover
Date 9-29-15

Smoke Belcher
Smoke Belcher Alert #7

Smoke Belcher Alert #7

Air quality in Manila is poor and most of the pollution comes from vehicles.

We have laws in place that require all vehicles to undergo emissions testing before the vehicles’ yearly registration is released. As usual in the Philippines the law is admirable but its execution is twisted to make another racket for all the parties concerned.

The end result is that there are heaps of smoke belching vehicles on the road.

This is my continuing diary of spotting those vehicles. My corner of the internet is a quiet one. In all likelihood the owners of these vehicles will never know that there is video evidence of them smoke belching.

Still, this is my small time bid to try to document these polluters.

Vehicle: Mitsubishi Pajero
License Plate: UBF-772
Location: Kalayaan Ave. right before Makati Cemetery
Date 9-22-15

Smoke Belcher: UBF-772
Smoke Belcher Alert #6

Smoke Belcher Alert #6

Air quality in Manila is poor and most of the pollution comes from vehicles.

We have laws in place that require all vehicles to undergo emissions testing before the vehicles’ yearly registration is released. As usual in the Philippines the law is admirable but its execution is twisted to make another racket for all the parties concerned.

The end result is that there are heaps of smoke belching vehicles on the road.

This is my continuing diary of spotting those vehicles. My corner of the internet is a quiet one. In all likelihood the owners of these vehicles will never know that there is video evidence of them smoke belching.

Still, this is my small time bid to try to document these polluters.

Vehicle: Hyundai Accent
License Plate: UVG-567
Location: Kalayaan Ave. right after the turn from Rockwell Drive
Date 9-18-15

Smoke Belcher: UVG-567
Smoke Belcher Alert #5

Smoke Belcher Alert #5

Air quality in Manila is poor and most of the pollution comes from vehicles.

We have laws in place that require all vehicles to undergo emissions testing before the vehicles’ yearly registration is released. As usual in the Philippines the law is admirable but its execution is twisted to make another racket for all the parties concerned.

The end result is that there are heaps of smoke belching vehicles on the road.

This is my continuing diary of spotting those vehicles. My corner of the internet is a quiet one. In all likelihood the owners of these vehicles will never know that there is video evidence of them smoke belching.

Still, this is my small time bid to try to document these polluters.

Vehicle: Light Truck
License Plate: RLV-772
Location: Buendia, near the EDSA Buendia Flyover
Date 9-5-15

Smoke Belcher: RLV-772
Smoke Belcher: RLV-772
Smoke Belcher Alert #4

Smoke Belcher Alert #4

Air quality in Manila is poor and most of the pollution comes from vehicles.

We have laws in place that require all vehicles to undergo emissions testing before the vehicles’ yearly registration is released. As usual in the Philippines the law is admirable but its execution is twisted to make another racket for all the parties concerned.

The end result is that there are heaps of smoke belching vehicles on the road.

This is my continuing diary of spotting those vehicles. My corner of the internet is a quiet one. In all likelihood the owners of these vehicles will never know that there is video evidence of them smoke belching.

Still, this is my small time bid to try to document these polluters.

Vehicle: Light Truck
License Plate: ZKV-977
Location: J.P. Rizal Extension, in front of Puregold Makati
Date 9-7-15

Smoke Belcher: ZKV-977
Smoke Belcher: ZKV-977
Smoke Belcher Alert #3

Smoke Belcher Alert #3

Air quality in Manila is poor and most of the pollution comes from vehicles.

We have laws in place that require all vehicles to undergo emissions testing before the vehicles’ yearly registration is released. As usual in the Philippines the law is admirable but its execution is twisted to make another racket for all the parties concerned.

The end result is that there are heaps of smoke belching vehicles on the road.

This is my continuing diary of spotting those vehicles. My corner of the internet is a quiet one. In all likelihood the owners of these vehicles will never know that there is video evidence of them smoke belching.

Still, this is my small time bid to try to document these polluters.

Vehicle: Toyota Lucida
License Plate: RDS-704
Location: Manila end of Osmena Highway, heading towards South Super Highway
Date 7-19-15

Smoke Belcher: RDS-704
Smoke Belcher: RDS-704