Sanyo to sell homes powered by solar panels and Li-ion batte

Japanese homebuyers eligible for subsidies for electronics giant's eco-friendly houses

A subsidiary of Sanyo Electric has started selling eco-friendly homes powered with solar panels and lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries.

Sanyo Homes launched sales in Japan of so-called "all-electric homes" at the weekend, each equipped with a 3.78kW solar power system, with backup power to come from a 1.57kW Li-ion battery. The solar panels and batteries will be supplied by its parent company.

The company said the battery will provide electricity at night and on rainy days, as well as during power failures, when the houses will automatically switch to battery power.

The green homes are also equipped with a solar-assisted heat pump water heater and 10 LED light fixtures that run on direct current power, which results in the more efficient use of solar-generated electricity.

Sanyo Homes said it will sell a 132-square metre unit for US$355,000 - about US$62,000 more than a conventional house of the same size. However, it added that the green home will qualify for around $30,000 in government subsidies, while homeowners will enjoy significantly lower energy bills over the life of the building.

Purchasers will also be able to generate revenue through Japan's feed-in tariff scheme, which came into effect on 1 November and requires utilities to purchase surplus power generated from households and factories.

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