Sustainable start-ups offer alternative energy choices

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 20 2016 04:54 PM

Three start-ups offering sustainable ways of producing and consuming energy were chosen in October as the winners of the 2nd fellowship program of Startup Incubator Impact Hub Manila.

Here are some of the winning sustainable start-ups:

1. Solar Sari-Sari Store

The company provides portable energy stations for local and far-flung communities. Usually the size of a container van, it provides lighting, mobile charging and water purification services.

Founder Raffy Concepcion said putting up a solar sari-sari store costs around P100,000 for equipment and initial necessities. Lantern rental, for instance, costs only P5 a day which can last 18 to 24 hours compared to renting kerosene lamps which usually costs around P12.

The company is initially working with non-government organizations to sponsor the stores so that local communities can earn profit.

2. Higi briquettes

Founded by Jackie Yap, Higi aims to reduce firewood and charcoal usage by replacing it with clean energy. 

His briquettes are made from water hyacinth, which are considered pests in the Philippines, to provide environment-friendly alternative cooking energy for rural people.

Though Higi produces less heat than typical firewood, Yap explains that the advantage of Higi is its sustainability.

3. Cleverheat

Since using air conditioners usually cost a lot of money, King Karl Seroje has found a way to reduce electricity costs using Cleverheat, a solar-powered refrigeration system.

Seroje explains that they plan to use Cleverheat as a complement to electric-powered refrigerators to reduce electric consumption.

The three fellows received an initial P500,000 in seed funding for a six-month mentoring and coaching phase also known as the incubation phase.