Government agencies, including government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs), state universities and colleges (SUCs), and local government units (LGUs) are encouraged to tap solar energy in their government-owned buildings in the Philippines to help minimize the country’s exposure to fuel price fluctuations in the international markets.
In a Resolution promulgated by the Inter-Agency Energy Efficiency and Conservation Committee (IAEECC), government entities are given 3 years from the effectivity of the Resolution to install an initial supply of at least 20% of their electricity requirements from Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System or any equivalent renewable energy (RE) technology based on the highest monthly kilowatt-hour (kWh) billing demand of the previous years.
The utilization of solar energy is also part of compliance with the Government Energy Management Program (GEMP) which encourages all government entities to reduce their electricity consumption by at least 10%.
Under IAEECC Resolution No. 8, a government entity that will install Solar PV System or any equivalent RE technology with a capacity not exceeding 100 kilowatts (kW) is allowed to be Qualified End-Users (QEs) and may enter into a net-metering agreement with a distribution utility (DU).
QEs are entities such as a house or office building that generate electric power coming from an eligible RE generating facility that can be connected to the grid, for the purpose of entering into a net-metering agreement.
Meanwhile, the net metering program allows customers of DUs, such as houses or buildings, to install an on-grid RE-based system not exceeding 100 kW in capacity so they can generate electricity for their own use. Any electricity generated that is not consumed by the customer is automatically exported to the DUs distribution system. The DU then gives a peso credit for the excess electricity received equivalent to the DUs blended generation cost, excluding other generation adjustments, and deducts the credits earned to the customer’s electric bill.
Energy Secretary and IAEECC Chairperson Raphael P.M. Lotilla said that the result of the participation of all government entities to this program will pave the way to the reduction of their monthly electricity consumption which the government could re-channel to other services, such as health and education.
The Secretary added that apart from public spending on electricity consumption, widely available military lands, camps and reservations could also host solar farms. Installation of solar panels in government lands and buildings would also allow the government to maximize the job-creation potential of RE.
The DOE-Energy Utilization Management Bureau (DOE-EUMB) shall assist government entities in the installation of their Solar PV Systems with the necessary technical requirements. To date, DOE-EUMB has initiated 3 solar demonstration projects for government offices such as the NEDA Region IX Office in Pagadian City, the DOE-Luzon Field Office in Pangasinan and the Mariano Marcos State University in Ilocos Norte. These demonstration projects are envisioned to establish the viability and effectiveness of RE technologies in helping reduce electricity consumption in government offices.
The DOE-EUMB shall also provide the official list of Solar PV installers for reference and guidance of all government entities, as well as collaborate with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), to assist them in evaluating the structural integrity of their office buildings.
The IAEECC is composed of the DOE as Chair with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Finance (DOF), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), DPWH, Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) as members.