A successful developer in Playa del Carmen for over 10 years, Carlos tells us how an investment in solar panels, dehumidifiers and composting can create a home that saves you money and is self-sustaining.  

Tell us about your experience building with the use of solar panels.

Carlos: When we arrived in Playa del Carmen in 2007, almost no one used solar panels at that time. The first buildings that we built were made were in a more ecologically friendly way, in the sense that they had gardens and green areas. We are always concerned with complying with the regulations that exist regarding environmental material. As of 2014, we decided that for the following projects we always wanted to install solar panels. And in two buildings that we built recently, all of the solar panels were placed so that the consumption of electricity will decrease. From 2007 to 2019 the cost of electricity has gone up three or four times, and we’ve begun to see more companies offering solar panels.

What are the challenges of installing solar panels?

You have to calculate. If you have a lot of space, you can have a building that works all year round with the solar panels. This is difficult in an urban area because the space for the panels is very limited. So what happens is that part of your electricity is covered with the energy captured by the panels and the remainder you have to pay.

Tell us about how you accomplish this.

We build the building with the panels and that investment has to be paid by the condominium association over a period of five years. It’s built in to their maintenance fee. If they pay a rate of $2000 pesos, the panels will cover $1000 and the remaining $1000 will go towards paying back the investment. So after five years they already have a significant reduction in their payments of electricity.

What else can a home owner do to make their home self-sustaining?

Your home can also be self-sustaining if you use a water source. You can remove water from the soil and treat it with several methods to purify it. Another thing you can do is put a shredder in your kitchen for all of your organic elements, for example fruits and peels, and then grind them up so they can go into a compost.

Are there any other technologies that can contribute to sustainability?

In addition to solar panels and water treatment you can also use dehumidifiers, because there is a lot of humidity here in the Riviera Maya. If these devices are connected as a permanent installation they will be capturing this humidity, and that water can be used for human consumption. It’s very pure water, so once you treat it you can drink it. You can get up to two or three liters of water within 3 hours.


Do you have any questions about building a home in the Riviera Maya that is self-sustaining? Please leave us a message below or contact us directly:

+52-984-803-3147   Playa del Carmen, Mexico