The Energy Regulatory Commission has finalized the salient features of the amended net metering rules with the official launching on October 29 at Via Verde Sto. Tomas, Batangas, the first solar-powered mass housing community.
Some of the new features of the amended rules include improved interconnection set up, simplified permitting rules, reduced installation costs, strict reporting process, as well as opened new opportunities for socialized and economic housing.
Chief Energy Regulation Officer of Renewable Energy Division Sharon O. Montaner said that the previous net metering rules do not prescribe any processing timeline.
In the amended net metering rules, the set processing timeline is 20 days.
“The processing timeline 20 days from the received letter of interest. Kasi magsisimula po yung application ninyo kapag nag-submit kayo kay Meralco ng inyong letter of interest,” Montaner said.
“Basta sisiguraduhin niyo lang na niyo lang na lahat ng permit na kailangan at lisensya na kailangan niyong kunin sa iba’t ibang ahensiya ay makumpleto at ma-submit ninyo,” she added.
For the reduced installation costs, the ERC removed the DIS or the Distribution Impact Study, as well as the net metering charge.
“Hindi naming sinasabi na hindi na ico-conduct ang and DIS. Option pa rin po yun sa mga distribution utilities to conduct that to ensure the safety and reliability of the system. Para wala hong mangyaring masama sa distribution system. But yung, pag-charge ng pag-conduct ng DIS tinanggal na po natin,” Montaner said.
Strict reporting process will also be observed in the new net metering rules.
ERC has prescribed to DUs a specific reporting template, in which the DUs will have to submit to the regulatory body twice a year.
“For the first two years of implementation and annually after two years. Kasi po gusto po namin ma-ensure na ang mga DUs are following strictly the timelines that we set and that the net metering program will be successful,” Montaner said.
She also cited the new opportunity in which economic housing developers can be part of to help create a net metering-ready community.
Vice President and Head of Meralco’s Corporate Business Group Victor Emmanuel S. Genuino commended the ERC’s efforts improve the net metering rules.
“We, Meralco, are one with all stakeholders, policymakers, local government, regulators, installers in enabling the integration of renewables, as well as empowering our consumers, or in this case prosumers, within our franchise areas,” Genuino said.
Around 3,132 customers are involved in the net metering program nationwide, in which more than 80 percent are from Meralco franchise areas.
“The ERC’s Amended Net-Metering Rules aims to empower the consumers by enabling them to produce their own electricity and, thereby, pay lower electricity bills to their electricity provider. We encourage home builders to emulate this Via Verde community which combines renewable and state-of-the-art technologies at an affordable price”, ERC Chair Agnes Devanadera concluded.