The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has laid down the rules that will delineate the qualification of consumers that can avail of the Green Energy Option Program (GEOP) or those that can secure or contract for electricity supply from renewable energy (RE) suppliers.

ERC LOGO

As the regulatory body has decreed, the end-users who may qualify under GEOP shall be those that have monthly average peak demand of 100 kilowatts (kW) and higher as reckoned from the past 12 months. The other set will be the entities whose operation has been less than 12 months from the effectivity of the GEOP rules.

ERC Chairperson Agnes T. Devanadera explained that the GEOP is a mechanism that “empowers electricity consumers by giving them the option to choose renewable energy as their source of electricity,” and such choice will not just bring socio-economic benefits for them, but will also be highly beneficial in the world’s quest for solutions to climate change risks.

The chief power industry regulator added that “in the long run, the GEOP will help us to achieve energy independence as it reduces our dependence on imported energy sources.”

Apart from fleshing out the qualification of customers, the ERC also established the rules relating to mandates and policy frameworks that shall be enforced upon RE suppliers; the distribution utilities, economic zone developers as well as the ecozone utility enterprises.

The specific functions of key agencies – such as the National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) or its successor-in-interest entity; the spot market operator; the supplier of last resort; the central registration body as well as the RE registrar had likewise been specifically set forth under the GEOP Rules.

As envisioned by the energy sector regulators and policymakers, the GEOP will help accelerate the market for RE capacities and it will similarly broaden the choice as well as knowledge of consumers on the benefits on patronizing clean energy sources.

As Devanadera qualified, “the use of RE sources will not only reduce our dependence on imported energy sources, but will also reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emission and mitigate climate change.”

It is in the ERC chief’s view that its promulgation of the GEOP rules would “level the playing field among RE generating facilities,” because there would already be rules and policy framework that shall guide them on their investments.

In a policy earlier instituted by the Department of Energy (DOE), it prescribed that the existing league of retail electricity suppliers (RES) under the Retail Competition and Open Access (RCOA) policy, can be automatically accredited as participants in the GEOP – as both schemes promote ‘power of choice’ for consumers.

The RES wanting to be automatically accredited in the GEOP will just need to submit required documents — including proof of billing from at least one customer of open access for two years; or a sworn statement of the customer attesting to the fact that it has a contract with the applicant for the last two years.

The other requirements are articles of incorporation or partnership with certificate of registration or business name registration certificate; as well as RE supplier information sheet; proof of contract with RE facility and compliance certificate of the RE facility.

RES licensees are those suppliers catering to end-users within the prescribed threshold of power retail contracting — currently voluntary at 500 kilowatts to 1.0 megawatt and higher thresholds.

For GEOP, this will entail the direct purchase or contracting of electricity supply/service from RE sources on the preference of customers/end-users – and the threshold could go as low as the level of residential end-users.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2021/08/18/erc-sets-rules-on-green-energy-procurement-of-consumers/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=erc-sets-rules-on-green-energy-procurement-of-consumers)