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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

MORE Power keeps up with renewable energy technology

“Net metering is a system where residential and commercial customers can generate their own electricity from renewable sources such as solar panels”

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Being four years into service, so far, as a distribution utility in Iloilo City, More Electric and Power Corporation (MORE Power) already has technology that can match big players in the power industry.

It’s certainly a newbie.

But MORE Power is bullish, aggressive, and unstoppable as it remains committed to its mission of modernizing the country’s energy industry—all for the benefit of the people, the economy, and the entire country.

Recently, MORE Power entered into a tripartite agreement between the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and Iloilo City LGU.

The agreement aims to promote the use of renewable energy in the city by moving to the Net-Metering Program and Distributed Energy Resources (DER) to further reduce electricity costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

The increase in the use of renewable energy is one of the salient points mentioned by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr in his State of the Nation Address on July 24.

Currently, there are only two distribution utilities that ERC has partnered with for Renewable Energy Adoption.

Aside from MORE Power, it also partnered with Manila Electric Company (Meralco).

This means that, so far, MORE Power and Meralco are the only two companies that are capable of engaging new technology.

For Meralco, it is no longer surprising since it is already operating for decades.

But MORE Power is a different story since it is still considered a “newbie” in the industry.

But being a newbie did not limit MORE Power in its pursuit to live up to its name – to give people MORE quality service that they deserve.

ERC’s collaboration with MORE Power for renewable energy is also the first in the Visayas – meaning the company has surpassed other sustainable distribution utilities and electric cooperatives when it comes to modernization.

Before a distribution utility can offer Net Metering and DER to its customers, infrastructure – such as the installation of smart meters and advanced communication systems – has first to be put in place.

And MORE Power was able to quickly keep up with technology due to its big investment that has reached P2 billion.

Despite the pandemic, their modernization blueprint was still carried out, mainly targeting facility upgrades, purchasing new equipment, implementing digital technology in their operations, and laying out solutions and aggressive campaigns against electric pilferage and illegal connection.

MORE Power’s commitment and determination to provide quality power supply has resulted in an “improved power situation” in Iloilo City, an increase in business and investor confidence, and more importantly, a reduction in electricity cost.

MORE Power has one of the lowest electricity rates in the country.

For seven consecutive months, from January to July this year, it implemented a reduction in power rates.

According to MORE Power President and CEO Roel Castro, from the beginning of their operation, they have promoted the use of green energy.

The use of renewable energy is one of the major factors behind the reduction of electricity rates.

Castro said: “Being the first in the Visayas to enter into this agreement showcases our strong support for the government.

“It is not a mere collaboration, it is a demonstration of the commitment of More Power towards a sustainable and resilient energy future. By embracing net metering and distributed energy resources, we can unlock the potential for cleaner, more cost-effective, and reliable energy supply.”

Net metering is a system where residential and commercial customers can generate their own electricity from renewable sources such as solar panels.

The Department of Energy’s website explained how the net metering system works, where “[a]ny electricity generated that is not consumed by the customer is automatically exported to the DU’s distribution system.

“The DU then gives a peso credit for the excess electricity received equivalent to the DU’s blended generation cost, excluding other generation adjustments, and deducts the credits earned to the customer’s electric bill.”

When the number of people who use Net Metering increases, the use of renewable energy will increase and we will avoid becoming dependent on fossil fuel which destroys the environment.

This program is really timely, since the Philippines is one of the countries in the world most vulnerable to the effect of climate change.

Under the signed tripartite agreement, MORE Power will establish a one-stop shop that offers renewable energy.

The ERC will provide technical and regulatory expertise, including streamlining documentary submission, installation, payment, and permitting processes of Net-Metering and DER.

The ERC will also launch an information drive.

The Iloilo LGU, on the other hand, will ensure that green practices are implemented in the city through the use of solar panels.

At the initial launch of the program, 72 qualified users have already been issued the Certificate of Compliance by the ERC for the Net Metering Program in Iloilo City, and it is expected that this number will increase in the next few days.

As a resident of the power-starved Davao Region, I can only hope innovations like this come to my neck of the woods.

(The author is a civil engineer and a longtime resident of the Davao area, with his own small construction business).

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