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 are not covered by the net-metering program.