DAP Sarawak hails solar power mandate for new homes as admirable, but caution exploitation by developers

File photo for illustration purposes only. Photo credit: Pixabay

KUCHING, April 26: While the Sarawak government’s plan to make solar panels compulsory for new homes is a step in the right direction that ought to receive widespread support, it is important to ensure that developers do not exploit this initiative for their own gain.

Giving support to this initiative, Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak member Michael Kong described the proposal as an admirable move by the Sarawak government as it will benefit both the environment and homeowners in the long run.

Kong, who is also the special assistant to DAP Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen, shared two effective examples of how renewable energy projects may benefit both consumers and the environment namely the feed-in-tariff (FiT) programme operated by Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) in Peninsular Malaysia and Australia’s own FiT.

“The programmes provide a tariff rate for any extra energy that is put back into the grid, which encourages individuals and companies to produce their own clean energy.

“In addition to helping homes create cash, this also helps them save money on their electricity bills,” he said in a statement today.

Michael Kong

Although it is a good idea, Kong however emphasised that this should not be used as a justification by developers to raise the already high prices of homes in Sarawak.

He said the Ministry of Public Health, Housing and Local Government along with the Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda) need to work together and must make sure that this effort is carried out morally and responsibly.

“Solar panel installation should not be an burdensome extra expense for prospective homeowners. Rather than treating the installation of solar panels as a way to boost their profits, developers can see it as an opportunity to fulfil their corporate social responsibility (CSR).

“Concurrently, constructing eco-friendly homes can improve the developer’s standing as a responsible and sustainable business. In addition to enhancing the developer’s reputation and brand, this may help to draw in more investors and buyers,” he said.

Furthermore, Kong added that this initiative should not be restricted to solely new residences but incentives should be offered to encourage existing homeowners to install solar panels.

With the support of the government, developers and homeowners, Kong believes Sarawak can move towards a greener and more sustainable future for all. — DayakDaily