By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — To encourage large power consumers to invest in the electricity sector
and develop the use of indigenous and renewable energy (RE) resources,
Senator Win Gatchalian proposed the removal of the 100-kilowatt size
limit in the installation of power generation facilities under the net
metering program through Senate Bill No. 2219.
Removing the 100-kilowatt cap will allow large electricity consumers
such as commercial establishments, industrial buildings, and
government offices to avail of the net-metering program under Republic
Act No. 9513, otherwise known as the Renewable Energy Act of 2008.
Gatchalian said it will encourage more investments in RE while at the
same time provide support in terms of savings to industries that have
the capacity to install power generator facilities such as solar
panels on their rooftops.
“The rooftop now becomes a resource. Kung mayroong kang rooftop, it’s
as good as real estate kasi puwede kang magkabit doon ng panels at
mag-generate ng revenue,” said Gatchalian, the Chairperson of the
Senate Energy Committee.
“Kung dati ang pinakasilbi ng rooftops ay ang protektahan ang property
mo, ngayon maaari na rin itong maging instrumento para bumaba ang
singil sa kuryente. Ngunit dahil sa limitasyon na nakasaad sa umiiral
na batas, hindi ito naisasakatuparan,” he added.
In filing Senate Bill No. 2219, Gatchalian noted that the net-metering
program is not maximized as only 53 or 37.32% out of the 142
distribution utilities (DUs) are qualified end-users for net-metering
as of March 31, 2021.
Aside from the removal of the 100-kW cap, the proposed bill mandates
the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to regularly determine the cap
taking into consideration the possible effects on the stability of the
grid and the retail rates of captive customers and further streamline
the submissions and permitting process to include minimum requirements
for local government units, all under the time frames provided in
Republic Act No. 11234, otherwise known as the Energy Virtual One
Stop-Shop Act (EVOSS).
To further promote and encourage commercial development of RE
projects, RA 9513 provided the net-metering program where electricity
customers are allowed to install an RE facility within their premises
up to a capacity of 100kW and any excess electricity not consumed is
exported to a DU and in return, the customer is compensated through
credits in their monthly bill. Those RE installations above the 100kW
ceiling is not covered by the net-metering program. (AI/MTVN)