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Renewable Energy on Buildings NOW Required?

What ‘s in it for me?

Learn how your business facilities can contribute to slowing down climate change and help others while at the same time saving money thru renewable energy investments.

Is there a law for it?

The DOE recently published last February 19,2021 a circular stating the “Adoption of the Guidelines on Energy Conserving Design of Building”. Under Section 2 of Republic Act No. 7638 also known as Department of Energy (DOE) Act of 1992, states that it is the policy of state to ensure continuous, adequate, reliable, and economic supply of energy through, among others judicious conservation, renewal, and efficient utilization of energy to keep pace with the country's growth and economic development.

Is my Building Included?

New buildings and their systems or expansions with at least 112.5kVA of total connected electrical load or has at least 10,000 square meters total gross floor area. Exempted are areas with industrial and manufacturing process.

What are the rules and guidelines?

  • Buildings shall install RE (Renewable Energy) within their facility. Solar photovoltaic (PV), wind power supply systems, solar water heaters, solar air conditioners, and solar-powered lightning systems are some of the recommended renewable energy facilities. Its main purpose is to reduce demand, energy cost and greenhouse gasses emissions.

  • Building can either supply its required power from RE partially or up to 100%. It may also sell excess power to the grid thru Net-Metering program up to 100kW.

  • RE should be installed in accordance with latest Philippine Electrical Code, rules by ERC, Office of the Building Official and technical guidelines imposed by the DU (Distribution Utility) such as MERALCO and Electric Cooperatives.

  • Grid-Tie Inverters and Hybrid Grid Tie Inverters are acceptable. These systems run in parallel with the DU to supply the power requirement. The trick is that the renewable energy device will be first consumed by the loads thereby reducing the imported power from the DU. It is a requirement however that the grid-tie and hybrid inverters should have anti-islanding function, meaning it should automatically shut down when the grid is off. The simple reason is for the safety of the lineman working and safety of the grid during power interruption. Hybrid Grid Tie inverters has emergency power isolated from the grid to supply essential loads during brownout.

  • Buildings with RE facilities will have two electricity meters. The first is called REC meters which reads the total energy produced by the RE and the other is called the Net-Metering which records the imported (we get from grid) and exported (we sell to the grid).

  • The economic feasibility of the RE should not only show the initial cost but also the life cycle cost.

  • Covered Buildings shall source, initially a minimum of 1% of their projected annual energy requirements.

  • At the time of writing, there are no penalties to those who will not comply. But there are already plans to impose to those who will not comply.

  • The date of Effectivity is March 06, 2021.

What are the benefits for me?

  • Self-Consumption Savings. Instead of getting your electricity from the electricity grid, the RE will supply it to you for FREE. For solar depending on the size of the system, it can cut all daytime loads consumption.

  • Rebates thru Net-Metering. The DU will give you credits if you sell your excess power to the grid. For example, you bought electrical energy at 10 per kWh, you can sell it at near half the price. It will appear as a discount on your electricity bills.

  • Additional Incentives. The building can apply to their DU or Retail Electricity Supplier (RES) the GEOP (Green Energy Option Program) to avail incentives under RA 9513 (Renewable Energy Act). Note: I am not 100%sure about this.

  • Help Others. Your RE facility will reduce the maximum demand on the grid, thereby reducing unintentional power interruptions and intentional rotating brownouts due to less supply.

  • Enviro-Friendly Building. Your clients and stakeholders will see your facilities as an institution who takes responsibility for its business.

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