Republic of the Philippines

ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION

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COA now part of the net-metering program

19 January 2023/ERC-Planning and Public Information Service

First Photo: Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Commissioner Catherine P. Maceda (2nd from the left) awards the Certificates of Compliance (COC) to Commission On Audit (COA) Chairperson Gamaliel A. Cordoba (2nd from the right). With them are Commission on Audit (COA) Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc (leftmost) and COA Commissioner Mario G. Lipana (rightmost).

Second Photo: ERC and COA officials and staff witnessed the COC awarding under the Net-Metering Program.

QUEZON CITY – The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) hails the Commission on Audit (COA) as the national agency champion for the Net Metering Program in a ceremonial awarding of the Certificate of Compliance as Qualified End-User (COC-QE) held at the COA office complex in Quezon City on 16 January 2023.

In the ceremony attended by ERC Commissioner Catherine P. Maceda and all COA Commissioners, led by Chairman Gamaliel A. Cordoba, COA shared its positive experience since the installation of solar rooftop facility in its complex in Quezon City.

“The COA in partnership with the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) Renewables Corporation installed the rooftop panels in 2017 to show support to the renewable energy drive of the government and to utilize alternative source of electricity at least cost.  Five (5) years after the installation of the solar panels, we are seeing the benefits in the savings generated. For January to September 2022 alone, we have generated total savings of more than PhP800,000 for both buildings. We hope that more agencies will see the benefits and be encouraged to follow in our footsteps.” COA Chairperson Cordoba said during the awarding ceremonies.

As one key government agency that has registered for the net-metering program, the COA’s initiatives are aligned with the government’s thrust of promoting renewable energy. In response to Chairperson Cordoba’s statement, ERC Commissioner Maceda said, “Why should we allow ourselves to be exposed to the vulnerabilities of higher fuel cost when we can generate power from our own resources?  This was the resounding argument nearly 15 years ago, when the then Renewable Energy Bill was being deliberated in Congress.  Those arguments still ring true, and more so now.  Net-metering empowers consumers to become ‘prosumers,’ giving consumers the option to produce electricity for their own use and selling their excess to the grid, paving the way for the democratization of the grid.”

The Net-Metering Program is the first non-fiscal incentive mechanism fully implemented under the Renewable Energy (RE) Act of 2008. Net-metering enables an ordinary electricity consumer to become a “prosumer” (producer-consumer) by installing a solar facility in its premises. As a prosumer, the consumer can partly provide for its own electricity requirements by generating electricity from RE installation. Any excess electricity generated can then be sold to the distribution grid for which the consumer derives rebates in its power bill. Through the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels up to 100 kW, house owners and commercial establishments can enroll in the program with their respective distribution utility to realize savings while providing in part for their own consumption.

Currently, government offices are not yet mandated to adopt net metering. With the positive experience of agency champions (like COA and other LGUs), the direct benefits derived from this program as well as protection against rising electricity prices were highlighted by ERC Chairperson Monalisa Dimalanta and Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla in a meeting with President Bongbong Marcos in November 2022.

Since the implementation of the Net-Metering Program in 2013, there are only 7,583 qualified end-users under the Net-Metering Program with 6,120 customers in Luzon, 1,168 in Visayas and 295 in Mindanao. While the program highly demonstrates potential savings in electricity cost and protection from bill shocks, actual data shows the need for more aggressive efforts to promote and implement the program in many parts of the country.

With government itself leading the way in this initiative, the ERC is confident that there will be significant increase in the net metering program.

 


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