DOE launches guide for use of RE systems

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Saturday, March 22, 2014


THE Department of Energy (DOE) has come up with guidelines on how power consumers can produce renewable energy and sell it to distribution utilities.

The DOE—together with the National Renewable Energy Board, the Visayan Electric Co. (Veco) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammerabeit (GIZ) of the Federal Government of Germany—launched yesterday a guidebook on net-metering.

Through net-metering, a household or establishment with installed renewable energy systems—like solar power—can sell excess electricity to the distribution utility.

According to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), the consumer is only charged or credited for the difference between the electricity supplied by the distribution utility and the electricity it (consumer) supplies to the grid.

Credit

For instance, if the consumer with renewable energy system is able to supply P500 worth of power to the distribution utility, the amount is deducted from his monthly bill.

The scheme requires two uni-directional meters or a single bi-directional meter that records the amount of electricity from the distribution utility to the consumer and from the consumer to the distribution utility, said the ERC in a statement posted on its website.

The guideline limits the amount of renewable energy produced by an establishment or household at 100 kilowatts.

The net-metering policy is in line with the Renewable Energy Act of 2008.

Savings

Ma. Theresa Capellan of the Philippine Solar Power Alliance said net-metering allows the consumer to cut electricity consumption and earn by selling renewable energy owner to the grid.

Rustico Noli Cruz, senior manager of the Development Bank of the Philippines, said local banks offer loans to those who want to put up renewable energy generation systems.

But Cruz said the lending facility is only open to local government units and private companies, not from households.

He said, though, that they are proposing to the management of the banks to include the households in their coverage.

To take advantage of net-metering, Annie Reodica of Meralco said consumers need to submit a net-metering service application to the distribution utility.

The distribution utility will then conduct technical evaluation. If proven that the renewable energy facility is feasible, Reodica said the customer and the distribution utility can then sign a net-metering contract.

Once the construction of the renewable energy facility is completed, she said the distribution utilities will undergo testing prior to energizing the facility.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 22, 2014.

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