Clean energy gets House boost
Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - May 3, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives’ committee on energy has mobilized its technical working group 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 Bill 6960 authored by Bataan Rep. Jose Enrique Garcia III and HB 6565 of Bayan Muna Rep. 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, National Renewable Energy Board and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council 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 or the Renewable Energy Act, and eligible participants using small solar power systems. 

The Department of Finance and other concerned agencies shall create appropriate mechanisms for the grant of subsidies, establishment of guarantee funds, and provision of tax credits on the purchase and installation of small solar power systems for residential use.

 The incentive mechanism will be implemented in tranches, beginning from a subsidy of 75 percent of the basic cost for the installation of small solar power systems in the first three years of implementation in case it is enacted into law.   

This will be followed by another 50 percent in the next three years, and 25 percent in the seventh year onward.        

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, leading the country toward more investments in renewable energy.

They also urged the government to advance the exploration and utilization of renewable energy in light of tightening oil supply and the increasing cost of commodities. 

Garcia said the use of renewable energy is a viable solution to the decreasing supply of energy in the country.

Zarate cited the need for alternative sources of energy to relieve consumers of 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 panels. He said 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. 

ENERGY HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES SOLAR POWER SYSTEM
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