The dreamer in me once pondered on the idea of running a distribution utility (DU) where my power source would be solar energy. I read through the resources I could find about solar power for sustainable energy. This made me realize that solar energy can only be harvested when the sun is out. So to continue to use the energy harvested from the sun, one must store it in batteries. Alas, my research brought me to a dead end, as batteries are more expensive than solar panels.
A few months later, I read about a household installing solar panels for their home use and I started learning about the grid tie setup. That piqued my curiosity, as I was hoping that we could also have solar panels installed for our home and business. But I could not fully convince our family because it mean shelling out a large amount of money for the initial cost and we couldn’t see when we would get our money back.
My family, especially my parents who at that time owned the property, did not fully understand the potential of such technology.
Fast forward a few months. The high school I attended had solar panels installed. I also learned that they are selling the excess power back to the local DU. This was my first introduction to net metering.
Having discovered the benefits of net metering made me more eager to install solar panels for our home. However, our local distributor, CENECO, appears to create hurdles for those seeking net metering. This has left me frustrated. In contrast, other provinces easily apply for net metering, while here in Bacolod City, bureaucratic obstacles seem to deter it. I’ve even heard whispers of needing to pay a CENECO fixer to get net metering approved.
Solar Farms in Negros Occidental
A few months later, news came that they are going to build a solar farm in my home province. This would surely lower the power rates in my home city, or so I thought. But unfortunately, our DU doesn’t buy renewable energy.
Instead, they opted to purchase from coal power plants instead, which are not environment-friendly and also expensive. Eventually, so many solar farms were built in the province of Negros Occidental. But where do they supply the excess power from the sun that they harvested?
Going for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Sources in Iloilo
This is why I now envy Iloilo for having MORE Power. This is a DU run with foresight and care for its consumers. In the past 3 years, it had been working closely with the Iloilo City LGU under Mayor Jerry Treñas to bring sustainable energy sources to Iloilo. And now, they are forging a partnership with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
Green Energy Boost for Iloilo: MORE Power’s Exciting Partnership with ERC and the LGU
For a brighter and greener Iloilo, MORE Power has joined forces with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and the City Government. This partnership will make renewable energy more accessible and affordable to its consumers. Plus, this will align with global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Embracing Green Innovations
This partnership centers on MORE Power’s one-stop shop, introducing advanced renewable energy tech like Net Metering and Distributed Energy Resources (DER). These innovations give Iloilo residents options to control energy use, promoting a greener future.
MORE Power President and CEO Roel Z. Castro is genuinely excited about this collaboration. He highlights how their commitment to collaborate with the city government has grown over the past three years. Furthermore, he appreciates the ERC joining the team, making Iloilo the Visayas’ first to lead this environmental initiative.
Seamless Transition with Expert Guidance
The ERC will bring its expertise to the table, ensuring a seamless transition to greener energy practices. They will simplify processes involving Net Metering and DER, covering everything from paperwork to installation, payments, and permits. Additionally, ERC is dedicated to raising awareness about renewable energy among Iloilo’s residents through informative campaigns.
Monalisa C. Dimalanta, CEO of ERC, believes that Iloilo’s role as the second pilot Local Government Unit partnering with ERC for the Net-Metering and broader renewable energy program is vital. She hopes this collaboration will inspire other LGUs to team up with national agencies to bring about innovative solutions for everyone’s benefit.
Thriving with Green Initiatives
As of June 2023, ERC has granted Certificates of Compliance to 72 qualified participants in the NET Metering program in Iloilo. Collectively this generates a noteworthy 985.37 kilowatt-peak of clean energy. This demonstrates the enthusiasm of Iloilo residents in embracing sustainable energy practices.
Mayor Treñas of Iloilo City is also very bullish on the thrust to use sustainable energy sources. He emphasizes efforts to use solar panels in key sites. He has identified national high schools, the city hall, dialysis centers, and eye care facilities as key sites for this. The city’s chief executive sees this partnership as a community catalyst, fostering renewable energy adoption, knowledge sharing, and best practices.
Mayor Treñas emphasizes that adopting Net Metering and DER not only benefits the environment but also provides economic advantages for households and small businesses. This will contribute to the growth of the local economy.
In a nutshell, this win-win partnership underscores the transformative power of collaboration and innovation. As MORE Power, ERC, and the Iloilo City Government work hand in hand, a cleaner and more sustainable energy landscape emerges for Iloilo’s residents. By embracing green energy solutions, the city sets a commendable example while striving towards environmental goals and a brighter future.
This is Possible in Bacolod, too.
I hope and pray that this revolutionary kind of partnership can also benefit the City of Smiles. MORE Power’s sister company Primelectric Holdings Inc. is forging a Joint Venture Agreement with CENECO. For the JVA to move ahead, over 50% of CENECO’s members or account holders must approve the alliance in a plebiscite.
If you also plan to install solar panels for your home or business and hope that your net metering can get seamlessly approved, then vote yes to JVA. Or you can urge the account holder in your home to participate in the plebiscite. Let’s do this.