DOE to issue requirements, costs for solar rooftop installations

solar philippines

The Department of Energy (DOE) will publish a circular that will establish the criteria and rates that for solar rooftop energy solutions in the Philippines.  

According to a report by the Manila Bulletin, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), which is responsible for setting tariffs and proposed standards for the Expanded Roof-mounted Solar Program in the Philippines (ERSP), has 120 days to produce the rules and regulations, as well as the pricing methodology and standards. 

Before the policy is strengthened, the DOE will finalize its adjustments based on feedback received from the major stakeholders in the industry on the draft of the Circular.

If necessary, the ERC may also additionally change the ERSP price determination every three years.

The DOE will also simplify requirements and processes for developing roof-mounted solar projects, ensuring smoother commercial operations. It will also intensify information, education, and communication (IEC) campaigns to promote the expansion of roof-mounted solar facilities in commercial, residential, and industrial structures.

Furthermore, the DOE plans to integrate roof-mounted solar facilities (RSF) capacities into the Philippine Energy Plan and enforce supply chain players into guaranteeing reliable and stable integration of roof-mounted solar facilities into the grid and the load networks of private distribution utilities (DUs) and electric cooperatives.

Customers complained that even though the DOE and ERC both have registries of suppliers for the Green Energy Option Program (GEOP) and Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) and that the ERC has a comprehensive list of retail electricity suppliers (RES), it is clear that RSF customers are lacking access to a list of reliable installers. 

Furthermore, the absence of certification requirements has led to complaints against certain photovoltaic (PV) installers who have disregarded the wiring requirements outlined in the Philippine Electrical Code.

Customers have raised concerns about the Philippines’ lack of grounding regulations and equipment standards for solar rooftop PV installations. These concerns include the reliability of inverters in terms of electrical shocks and surge current damage. 

Additionally, complaints have arisen regarding local government units (LGUs) implementing inconsistent processes and requirements, and electric cooperatives lacking familiarity with government-mandated net metering rules. As a result, consumers are left confused and not adequately guided in their transition to alternative energy usage.