Solar & Net Metering
Are you thinking of installing solar energy at home? We’ll help you do it the safe, stable, and sustainable way.
First things first, remember to:
Know the right size.
Take note of the appliances that will be operating when sunlight is available. This will determine the amount of energy that you’ll need and the right installation size for your household. This ensures you spend the right amount on your installation, as well as keep your appliance and equipment running smoothly and safely.
Check the best location for your installation.
Before you make your investment, check the roof, inspect the structure and position where your panels will be installed. Consider factors such as panel direction, panel angles, and inverter options – all of which affect the output and the efficiency of the solar PV system.
Choose the right solar provider.
Choose a supplier who is reputable, with after-sales service, and knowledgeable in safety standards.
II. What is Net Metering?
Under RA 9513, also known as the Renewable Energy Act of 2008, customers can install renewable energy (RE) facilities with a capacity of up to 100kW in their properties. Any excess RE electricity produced is exported to a distribution utility (DU) like Meralco, and its corresponding value will be given as credits to the customer’s next bill.
For RE installations above 100kW or for those that are solely for the customer’s own use, these are not covered by the Net Metering program, but fall under Zero Export (Own Use). Customers are still required to inform the DU about such installations to ensure that the RE facility does not inadvertently leak energy back to the grid.
III. How does it work?
When you enroll in Net Metering, Meralco will replace your current meter and install a bi-directional meter in your home. The bi-directional meter measures both the electricity you get from the company (i.e. Import Energy) as well as the excess electricity produced by your solar installation that is exported back to it (i.e. Export Energy).
In compliance with the Amended Net Metering Rules, a Renewable Energy Certificate (REC)* meter will be installed to measure the gross electricity generation from the RE system. The readings from the REC meter will be used as a basis for the computation of subsidies, discounts and for compliance with the Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS).
*A separate set of standards will be provided by Meralco in line with the amended rules and subsequent clarifications provided by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). (Annex A – 3 of Resolution No. 05, Series of 2020)
If you don’t have the right meter installed, Meralco will read the excess power produced by your solar panels as additional consumption. This means you will be billed for both the power that Meralco supplied your home as well as the surplus power your solar panels provided.
With Net Metering, customers are credited for any energy exported back to Meralco.
IV. What happens if your solar installation is not registered with Meralco?
Installing and operating a Renewable Energy facility without registering with Meralco exposes you and other customers to several risks and safety hazards. Meralco shall not be responsible or liable for any damages and losses that may result from the unauthorized operation of your installation, in violation of relevant laws, rules and regulations.
Electrical fire and electrocution hazards
Improperly installed solar panels can cause electrical fires and electrocution.
Safety risk for linemen and field personnel
Some contractors who install your solar PV system don’t install a shut-off feature. When we need to make repairs along your street, power is completely shut-off along the affected lines. Without this very important safety feature, your solar installation could provide even a small amount of electricity to the power lines, which could harm (sometimes fatally) linemen and field personnel.
Instability of the Meralco network
Incorrect solar installations can cause fluctuations in the quality of power across the circuit, affecting your neighbors. This means your community may experience power fluctuations or even brownouts because of a faulty installation.
Risk of damage of property
Faulty installations may be easily damaged during powerful typhoons and heavy rain, leading to further safety hazards.
V. How does one apply for Net Metering?
- Complete and submit the necessary documents.
Document Remarks a. Application Form Interested customers need to get the form from Meralco and accomplish it accordingly b. Identification Documents Residential – ID & Proof of Valid Occupancy
Business – Secretary’s Certificate
c. Certificate of Compliance (COC)
Form 1 – applies to individuals and non-individuals
Form 2 – additional form for non-individuals (e.g. corporations, organizations)
Get from Meralco and accomplish form with the help of your RE supplier/contractor d. Certificate of Renewable Energy (RE) Facility Equipment Request from your RE supplier/installer e. Updated Electrical Plan, duly signed and sealed by Professional Electrical Engineer (PEE) Get from your PEE f. Plant Parameters Form Get from Meralco and ask your RE supplier/installer to complete the form. g. Distribution Impact Study (DIS) No DIS fee will be collected from customers who applied starting October 26, 2019. h. Certification of Final Electrical Inspection (CFEI) Secure from your LGU. The LGU may require a wiring permit before issuance i. Amended Net Metering Agreement (NMA) Get from Meralco, sign and have it notarized j. Fixed Asset Boundary Document (FABD) Get from Meralco based on submitted electrical plan k. COC Application Fee of Php 1,500.00 Prepare Manager's Check or Cashier's Check payable to “Energy Regulatory Commission” l. Difference in Meter Cost fee (DIMC)
To be collected from NM customers with existing service with Meralco. DIMC fee is the difference between their existing meter and the new bi-directional meter to be installed.***
DIMC fee will vary depending on the cost between the existing meter and the bi-directional meter to be installed.
***Pursuant to Annex A – 4 of ERC Resolution No. 5, Series of 2020
- Invite us over for a technical evaluation
Meralco will evaluate your application and requirements through a field study called the Distribution Impact Study (DIS). The DIS is a study we conduct to find out the potential effect of your solar installation on our distribution system. If DIS results show an upgrade of the distribution facilities is needed, a Customer Renewable Energy Asset Study (CREAS**) will be conducted. CREAS fees will be determined depending on the asset study conducted to determine the engineering solution that would be needed to accommodate the RE installation.
After this, we’ll coordinate to your solar installer the proper interconnection of your solar PV installation to your load and to the Meralco system. Your solar installer shall then finalize the details of your solar PV interconnection.
- Run an inspection and get final approval
We will also inspect your facility and service entrance to ensure compliance to standards. Once approved, we’ll install your bi-directional and REC* meter and conduct the testing of the interconnection of your solar PV in our system.
- Power up your installation
Once we have replaced your existing meter with a bi-directional meter, installed a REC* meter and have successfully tested and commissioned your solar PV, you can now safely use and enjoy the benefits of your solar Net Metering installation in powering your home.
**Customer Renewable Energy Asset Study, also known as Distribution Asset Study (DAS)