Net metering proposed to address rising power prices

THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said on Tuesday that the aggressive implementation of a net metering program will help insulate customers from rising electricity prices.

“While the program demonstrates potential savings in electricity cost and protection from bill shock, actual data shows the need for more aggressive efforts to promote and implement the program in many parts of the country,” the ERC said in a statement.

Net metering allows power users that generate their own electricity via renewable energy to sell some of their excess power to the grid, credited against their power bills. The program is open to users with a capacity of up to 100 kilowatts (kW).

“Through the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels up to 100 kW, house owners and commercial establishments can enroll in the program with their respective distribution utility to realize savings while providing in part for their own consumption,” the ERC said.  

At the end of 2021, the ERC tallied 7,583 net metering participants — 6,120 in Luzon, 1,168 in the Visayas, and 295 in Mindanao. The net metering program has been running since 2013.

“The ERC is confident that there will be a significant increase in the net metering program,” it said.

The ERC said it has no specific targets for net metering participants this year.

“We can encourage more end-users to sign up via information campaigns so consumers will be aware of what net metering is all about, how to join and highlight the benefits,” the ERC said. — Ashley Erika O. Jose