The House Committee on Energy has mobilized its technical working group (TWG) to start harmonizing two bills seeking to encourage consumers to use the solar power system and provide renewable energy developers with incentives and financing capability.
Up for consolidation are House Bills 6960 and 6565 authored by Representatives Jose Enrique Garcia III and Carlos Isagani Zarate, both seeking to promote the use of renewable energy in homes, offices, schools, and factories.
The bills seek to mandate the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Renewable Energy Board (NREB), and the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) to encourage the installation of small solar energy systems in homes and business establishments all over the country.
Subject to existing laws, incentives shall be granted to renewable energy developers as provided for in Republic Act 9513, otherwise known as the “Renewable Energy Act,” and eligible participants using small solar power systems.
The Department of Finance (DOF) and other concerned government agencies shall create appropriate mechanisms for the grant of subsidies, establishment of guarantee funds, and/or tax credits on the purchase and installation of small solar power system for residential use.
The incentive mechanism shall be implemented in tranches, beginning from a subsidy of 75 percent of the basic cost for the installation of small solar power systems on the first three years of the Act’s implementation, 50 percent on the next three years, and 25 percent on the seventh year onward.
The Duterte administration favors the eventual phase-out of coal power plants.
During the recent TWG hearing presided by committee vice chairman Rep. Carlos Roman Uybarreta, Garcia and Zarate noted that the Duterte administration favors the eventual phase-out of coal power plants that use harmful fuels, and lead the country towards more investments in renewable energy.
They also urged the government to advance the exploration and utilization of renewable energy in light of the expected drop of oil supply and the increasing cost of commodities.
Consumers should be relieved from paying the high cost of commercial energy.
Garcia said the use of renewable energy is a viable solution to the depleting supply of energy in the country. Zarate cited the need of alternative sources of energy to relieve consumers from paying the high cost of commercial energy.
Meanwhile, Home Development Mutual Fund Legal Department Manager Jose Roberto Po said the HDMF-Pag-IBIG offers loans for the purchase and installation of solar panel. He said the HDMF has credit facilities for the installation of solar power systems as part of its home improvement loan to its qualified members.
Solar Philippines President Leandro Leviste suggested that users of small solar power systems be qualified to enter into net metering agreements with distribution utilities without any barrier and discrimination.
The TWG will invite in its next meeting officials of the National Renewable Energy Board (NREB), Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and Department of Budget and Management (DBM), and representatives of distribution utilities (DUs).