ERC issues rules for GEOP

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Power customers that consume an average of at least 100 kilowatts (kW) per month for the past 12 months may soon be able to choose their own supplier of renewable energy (RE), as the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) released its rules on the government’s Green Energy Option Program (GEOP).

Customers that also have been in operation within 12 months upon the rules’ effectivity may also qualify as contestable customers under the program.

The rules are detailed in ERC Resolution No. 8, Series of 2021 dated April 22, but posted for public access only last Monday. These will be enforced two weeks after publication in a newspaper of general circulation.

The GEOP’s regulatory framework sets the technical and interconnection standards and wheeling fees of RE generating facilities. 

“In the long run, the GEOP will help us to achieve energy independence as it reduces our dependence on imported energy sources,” ERC Chairperson and Agnes Devanadera said in a statement.

Aside from customers or end-users, the GEOP Rules seeks to guide other stakeholders, such as distribution utilities, economic zone developers, economic zone utility enterprises, National Transmission Corporation or its successors-in interest, Philippine Electricity Market Corporation, supplier of last resort, central registration body, RE registrar, and metering service providers authorized by the ERC. 

The ERC is mandated to issue the GEOP rules under Section 6 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 9513 or the RE Act. This aims operationalize the GEOP in order to allow stakeholders in the electric power industry to contribute to the growth of the country’s RE industry.

“The ERC fully supports the visions of the [RE Act] and will do its part in order to ensure the proper and successful implementation of the [GEOP]. The use of RE sources will not only reduce our dependence on imported energy sources, but will also reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emission and mitigate climate change,” Devanadera said.

“The Commission’s promulgation of the GEOP Rules levels the playing field among RE generating facilities, as regulatory framework is now in place to make the GEOP finally kick off and flourish,” she added.

A total of 13 retail electricity suppliers have been accredited by the Department of Energy for the GEOP.