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How This Renewable Energy Project in Iloilo City is Good for the Environment and Ilonggos’ Wallets

Iloilo City  Renewable Energy Project
Solar panels and other sources of renewable energy will now become more accessible in Iloilo City. PNA photo.

Residents of Iloilo City now have the opportunity to cut down on their electricity expenses with the increased availability of renewable energy (RE) in the area.

Net-Metering and distributed energy resources (DER) will now have a heightened reach among the city’s public under a new partnership of the Iloilo City Government, MORE Electric and Power Corporation (MORE Power), and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). The plan was inked by the three parties on August 3, 2023. “RE technologies like the Net-Metering and DER can help manage electricity costs, mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, and promote economic progress, benefiting not only Iloilo City but also the entire nation,” ERC said in a press release on its website.

A project of the national Renewable Energy Act, Net-Metering is a system that incentivizes the use of low-carbon electricity. “[Net-Metering] allows customers to install an RE facility within their premises up to a capacity of 100kW. Any excess electricity not consumed in the home or business is exported to a distribution utility,” Meralco stated in an article on its website. In exchange, the consumer is reimbursed for the surplus electricity.

Likewise, distributed energy resources are renewable sources of electricity that differ from the traditional centralized energy model. In contrast to big power plants that transfer electricity thousands of kilometers away, DERs are smaller electricity hubs that are placed closer to where they are needed. They are generally low-cost to consumers.

“With this agreement, more people will be incentivized to utilize renewable energy sources because of the simplified process,” MORE Power said in a separate press release. MORE Power President Roel Z. Castro emphasized that, under the agreement, there will be a “one-stop shop” where Ilonggos can inquire about the program.

“The ERC will provide the technical and regulatory expertise to streamline the documentary submissions, installation, payment, and permitting processes of the Net-Metering and DER. The ERC will also be part of the information, education, and communication campaign for the electricity consumers,” the commission added in its official statement.

On its Facebook page, the Iloilo City Government expressed, “The partners agreed to maximize RE technologies in the locality, empower consumers, and push for cost-efficient demand management.”

Iloilo City has previously undertaken projects to promote the usage of renewable energy, such as the installation of solar panels at Iloilo City Hall, Iloilo City Action and Response (ICARE) Centers, Iloilo City National High School, Dialysis Centers, Esplanades, and waiting sheds at Diversion Road. This year, the Iloilo province has set aside PHP 30 million to invest in renewable energy, including the installation of solar power facilities in hospitals.

At the agreement’s signing, Mayor Jerry P. Treñas noted that solar power is currently being utilized in several offices and households throughout the city. ERC indicated that 72 Net-Metering users in Iloilo City have since attained Certificates of Compliance from the commission as of June 2023.

“We hope that this partnership will encourage more people to adopt green practices like solar panels and solar lights, so we can achieve the targets set by the Department of Energy and the national government,” Treñas stated. Net-Metering has met hurdles in its implementation due to red tape in securing permits. As echoed by ERC Chairperson Monalisa C. Dimalanta at the signing ceremony, Iloilo City is only the second pilot local government unit that has collaborated with the ERC to widely execute Net-Metering.

“This sets an example that we hope other LGUs will follow, partnering with national government agencies to bring solutions closer to our people,” Dimalanta continued.

Renewable energy initiatives in the Philippines include the Filipino social enterprise Liter of Light conducting free workshops on solar light-making to promote sustainable energy and Nueva Ecija’s hosting of Southeast Asia’s largest solar energy farm.

Good News Pilipinas is a Lasallian Scholarum Awardee. TELL US your good news story tips by messaging GoodNewsPilipinas.com on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram, or e-mailing editor@goodnewspilipinas.com

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Summer Sanares
Summer Sanares
Summer is a political science student with a twin passion for journalism. Her hobbies include watching geography documentaries, searching the metro for plant-based food, and free-falling through Wikipedia rabbit holes. Her works have previously been featured in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

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