Power utilities to cover costs of renewable energy users’ meters

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Agnes VST Devanadera, chairperson and chief executive officer, Energy Regulatory Commission — BW File Photo

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said distribution utilities should shoulder the cost of renewable energy certificate meters and its installation to qualified end-users.

In a statement on Friday, the regulator said it had passed a resolution clarifying some provisions in the amended net metering rules after stakeholders raised them.

It was made clear that power utilities will be covering the cost of meters for qualified renewable energy users, as well as their installation, while the wiring cost from the facility to the meter will be taken on by the user.

Only end-users who wish to install a renewables facility on their premises will cover the cost of the meter and its installation.

The ERC also clarified that the meters must be installed at a connection point or at least near it.

If defined qualified participants of the net-metering program with “good credit standing” as those “with no unsettled or outstanding obligation with the distribution utility at the time of the application.”

“We have clarified certain provisions in the amended net-metering rules by providing explicit definitions, conditions, or situations and to avert varying interpretations by the stakeholders,” ERC Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer Agnes VST Devanadera said.

The net-metering program was enforced in 2013, as mandated by Republic Act No. 9513 or the Renewable Energy Act. It allows ordinary electricity consumers to generate electricity for their own consumption and sell any excess generation to the distribution grid.

Last year, the regulator amended the program rules to address stakeholders’ concerns.

With the clarifications, the ERC expects more end-users to be encouraged in participating in the program.

“Qualified end-users will be empowered with the program as they are ensured of a sustainable power supply and they also help decongest the power grid,” Ms. Devanadera said. — Adam J. Ang