By Angelica Y. Yang, Reporter

THE PRESIDENT of Energy Development Corp. said Monday that higher net metering rates will encourage power consumers to invest in solar technology for their homes and buildings.

“This simple policy change will accelerate the adoption of solar in our country,” Richard B. Tantoco, president and chief operating officer of Energy Development Corp. said during the virtual BusinessWorld Insights: Kickstarting Green Recovery event Monday.

Mr. Tantoco said that he participates in the government’s net metering scheme, which allows eligible customers to generate their own electricity through their own renewable energy (RE) facilities, with the excess power being exported to distribution utilities (DU) for peso credit which will offset their power bills.

He said he is able to sell the extra power generated by his solar panels at P4, but purchases electricity from his DU at almost thrice the price or P11.

“In other jurisdictions, this offsetting happens at a much more equitable rate like (in) Hawaii. For example, you can buy (from the grid) at P11 but when you produce extra, instead of selling it at P4, you (can) end up selling it at about P10,” Mr. Tantoco said.

There is a need to integrate RE into the power system, according to House Deputy Speaker and Antique Rep. Loren B. Legarda, who was also present during the event.

Based on estimates from the Energy department, coal accounted for 44.5% of the power generation mix, while RE sources made up a combined 25% in 2015.

“We need to cast out misplaced notions on RE. Otherwise, our limited understanding will cloud our ability to meet our goal of achieving energy independence. We need to wake up to the reality that coal and other fossil fuels are on their way to becoming stranded assets (and) obsolete,” Ms. Legarda said.

The legislator said RE sources provide clean and indigenous power. “They also provide thousands of green jobs for people, improve air quality and protect our ecosystems,” she said.

Greenpeace Southeast Asia Executive Director Naderev Sano said the transport, food, building, and energy sectors must reduce their carbon footprint in order to contribute to the green recovery.

He said climate change affects all sectors, and it is a duty to limit its effects.

“The planet is hurtling in a dangerous trajectory that may go beyond (the warning) beyond (the global temperature increase of) 1.5 degrees Celsius and we need to avert that,” he said.