Panasonic Corp. may build homes with energy enhancing and power saving devices on its former factory sites after the March 11 earthquakes.
The nation's leading appliance maker is all set to join the 'going green' bandwagon. According to Bloomberg reports, Teruhisa Noro, a director for Panasonic's systems and equipment business promotion division said in an interview that the homes built in these 'smart towns', which Panasonic plans to sell to its consumers directly, may include energy saving appliances like solar panels, energy- efficient refrigerators and rechargeable batteries.
There is a noticeable increase in interest for houses and equipment that can generate and save energy since the March 11 disaster. We're getting inquiries from municipal and government agencies about our projects, Bloomberg quoted Noro as saying.
Panasonic is widely popular for its consumer electronic products like televisions, audio equipments and components for automobiles. Panasonic's move to deviate from its traditional path to tread on a more greener one is probably because the company wants to reduce its dependence on sales from its television sets due to intense competition.
The devastating earthquake and tsunami that ravaged Japan in March earlier this year, cut power supplies and increased the demand for energy saving devices.
Bloomberg reports that President Fumio Ohtsubo said in May that sales from the energy-efficient homes and buildings may reach at least 100 billion yen ($1.3 billion) in the year ending March 2013. The annual revenue may triple two years after that, he said.
Noro said that their latest project would be based in Fujisawa, southwest of Tokyo, where Panasonic is building 1,000 homes in a former factory site. Panasonic announced plans to shut about 20 percent of its 230 factories two years ago after the economic crisis crippled earnings.
Energy efficient devices are seen as a very effective way to combat the issues of pollution, global warming, energy security and fossil fuel depletion.