ERC Adopts Amendments to the Net-Metering Rules
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) through Resolution No. 06, Series of 2019, adopted the amendments to the Rules Enabling the Net-Metering Program for Renewable Energy (“Net-Metering Rules” for brevity).
The Net-Metering Program enables an ordinary electricity consumer to become a “prosumer”. As a prosumer, the ordinary electricity consumer generates electricity for its own consumption, as well as sell any excess generation to the distribution grid.
The Net-Metering Program is a non-fiscal incentive mandated by the Renewable Energy Act. To implement this incentive, the ERC promulgated the Net-Metering Rules as early as 2013.
During the implementation of the 2013 Net-Metering Rules, significant concerns were raised by the stakeholders. “The Amended Net-Metering Rules address the concerns raised by various stakeholders on the Net-Metering program implementation. It provides benefits that work for the welfare of the prosumers or Qualified End-User, including a simplified permitting procedure and reduced installation soft costs for renewable energy facilities, among others. It likewise takes into account the impact of this program to non-net-metering customers”
, said ERC Chairperson and CEO Agnes VST Devanadera.
The Amended Net-Metering Rules prescribe a maximum 20-day processing timeline for the Distribution Utilities (DUs) to complete the whole interconnection process from receipt of the letter of interest; provided all necessary permits and licenses from various concerned agencies are secured and completed.
The Distribution Impact Study (DIS) fee and other related soft costs were also removed in order to encourage participation from end-users. The ERC has considered that the conduct of DIS is a regular activity of the DU to ensure the reliability and stability of the Distribution System. Hence, the ERC deemed it unnecessary to impose additional charges for its conduct.
The Pricing Methodology under the Amended Net-Metering Rules maintained the DUs’ blended generation cost excluding other generation adjustments, instead of the proposed retail rate. Adopting the blended generation cost as basis for pricing would result to the avoidance of higher cost of electricity for consumers.
Further, the Amended Net-Metering Rules also rationalized the sharing of lifeline rate subsidy among all consumers.“The Net-Metering Program is ERC’s contribution to empower the consumers”
, ERC Chair Devanadera emphasized.