AS the use of solar power increases among homeowners and establishments, the Department of Energy (DOE) is stressing the importance of complying with the technical and legal requirements to preempt potential issues, especially possible violations of the law.
Fortunato Sibayan, chief of the DOE’s solar and wind energy management division, is advising consumers, even those who don’t participate in the net metering program, to ensure they meet the requirements when installing their solar facilities.
Sibayan spoke at a recent forum on energy options for micro, small and medium enterprises organized by the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. to raise awareness on emerging energy technologies.
Under the net metering scheme, consumers with solar installations not exceeding 100 kilowatts in generated power agree to sell to their distribution utility (DU) their excess electricity. Essentially, net metering allows homeowners and business establishments to install solar photovoltaic panels to partly satisfy their electricity demand by themselves.
But Sibayan said consumers must know and comply with the technical requirements, as mandated in the guidelines issued by the Energy Regulatory Commission on the installation of solar panels.
Moreover, he said they must also go to their distribution utility and apply for a net metering interconnection if they want to sell their excess load.
All users, even those who are not part of net metering program, must likewise go to their local government units (LGUs) to apply for the necessary permits, such as building and electrical permits, to comply with the building code.
He said this is meant to ensure their facility can withstand strong winds and won’t fly off to cause damage or fatalities. If the owner has the required permits, this means the building code is met and the roof won’t collapse because it passed the permitting process of the LGU.
Sibayan also pointed out another disadvantage of non-compliance, which is not being in sync with the DU.
“If you are short on power and there’s no generation coming from your solar panels, you cannot supply your load coming from the DU because it’s not synchronized.”
A homeowner who synchronizes without complying with the requirements is “liable against the electricity law” of the Philippines, such as the distribution code. (PHILEXPORT NEWS AND FEATURES)