THE Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish Church in Pajac, Lapu Lapu City is the first parish in the Archdiocese of Cebu to respond to the latter’s call to shift from fossil fuel to renewable energy in the face of climate change.
The parish started using solar panels on Monday, Dec. 2, 2019.
Fr. Murphy Sarsona, leader of the Archdiocesan Commission on Environmental Concern (Acec), said all the energy requirement of the church, the convent and all other offices of the parish during daytime is provided by the solar power system.
“It’s not totally cutting our source from the fossil fuel, but we are slowly integrating renewable energy at least to reduce carbon emission,” he said.
The 20 solar panels installed on the roof of the Sacred Heart’s convent, he said, can generate 11.34 kilowatts per hour (kph).
Sarsona, in an earlier interview with SunStar Cebu, said they wanted to lobby against massive carbon emissions.
“The parish church responded to pave the way and to lead in the implementation of the 13 ecological actions set by the CBCP (Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines),” he said.
The CBCP, in a statement it posted on July 16, 2019, urged everyone to live simply, consume less, segregate waste and avoid single-use plastics and paper.
Sarsona said the whole process of setting up the solar panels took almost a month. That included the feasibility study, actual data logging, coming up with the design and complying with requirements.
Fr. Glenn dela Torre, team moderator of the team of pastors of the parish, said the money they’d save by not using the power provided by the electric grid would offset the cost of the solar panels.
He encouraged other parishes to invest in solar panels, which he believes is not just environmentally but economically friendly as well.
“We’re paying for the solar panels in installments for the next seven years. The solar panels will cut our electricity cost by three-fourths,” he said in a mix of Cebuano and English.
Sarsona said the St. Joseph the Patriarch Parish in Mabolo and the Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Church in Barangay Guadalupe, both in Cebu City; and the Sto. Niño Parish Church in Barangay Mactan, Lapu-Lapu are conducting feasibility studies on switching to solar power. (WBS)