The first homeowner to switch on a solar home energy system, Ramsey Ngiraibai and his young family expect to save at least half of what he is currently paying for power from the utility company.

With the very high cost of energy and high inflation rates, people are desperately looking for ways to manage expenses, and the Ngiraibai family welcomed the opportunity.

The young family received a home solar energy system from the National Development Bank of Palau (NDBP) through the Disaster Resilient Clean Energy Financing Project, an ADB program funded by the Government of Japan.

“When we did the estimation, the energy savings from the solar energy system will reduce our energy by at least half.  The loan payment is low because it is long-term, but if I pay it early, I will benefit greatly from the savings,” said Ramsey Ngiraibai.

Currently, said Ngiraibai, his energy cost per month is around $200, which is with careful energy management.  He expects savings from the solar energy system installed on his house.

“The program’s main objectives,” said Claire Harvey, President of the National Development Bank of Palau, “are to provide affordable solar home systems to Palauan homeowners through a low-cost loan. By providing these, we give Palauans access to disaster-resilient clean energy.  When we enhance livelihoods, we assist with safe, resilient, and prepared communities from calamities.”

Harvey said that they expect that the program would at least be cost neutral.  In other words, after getting the loan, the homeowner should not be paying more than they were paying for energy before they obtained the loan.

The loans start as low as $4,000 up to $10,000 with a 10-year term.  The systems have a 20-year life; energy savings are expected after the loan is paid.

The project added Harvey helps Palau meet its renewable energy targets.

“I am very glad to see the fast and visible result of the project, which I remember, just launched in January,” expressed Ambassador Akira Karasawa of Japan.  “I understand that after the loan is paid off in 10 years, the applicants will start gaining the return on their investment, and that’s very good,” added Karasawa, congratulating the homeowner Ngiraibai.

The program, signed on January 8, 2022, between NDBP and solar system vendor Utilligence Ltd., provided $3 million worth of solar home systems to 800 households.  NDBP facilitates the loan to qualified homeowners, and the company, Palau Solar, installs the systems with a service warranty of one year. 

For more information about the program and to see if you are qualified, contact the National Development Bank of Palau (NDBP) at 587-6327.

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