ERC amends rules on net-metering program


    The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has amended the rules enabling the net-metering program for renewable energy through a resolution.

    Under the net metering program, consumers that are equipped with renewable power systems that are also connected to distribution utilities (DUs) may sell the excess power produced by their solar panels back to the grid.

    “The amended net-metering rules address the concerns raised by various stakeholders on the net-metering program implementation. It provides benefits that work for the welfare of the prosumers or qualified end-user, including a simplified permitting procedure and reduced installation soft costs for renewable energy facilities, among others,” Agnes Devanadera, ERC chairperson and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

    “It likewise takes into account the impact of this program to non-net-metering customers,” she added.

    The regulatory body said the amended rules prescribe a maximum 20-day processing timeline for the DUs to complete the whole interconnection process from receipt of the letter of interest, provided all necessary permits and licenses from various concerned agencies are secured and completed.

    According to ERC, the distribution impact study fee and other related soft costs were also removed to encourage participation from end-users as such activity is regularly being done by DUs to ensure the reliability and stability of the system.

    The amended rules maintained the DUs’ blended generation cost excluding other generation adjustments instead of the proposed retail rate to avoid higher cost of electricity for consumers.

    However, the updated rules rationalized the sharing of lifeline rate subsidy among all consumers.