Press Release
April 28, 2021


In response to the projected increase in demand for electricity during the dry season, Sen. Grace Poe renewed her push for the promotion and adoption of rooftop solar throughout the country.

"Summer is usually the season for higher energy demand and costlier electric bills. But we should also see it as a renewed opportunity to promote technology that can harness energy from the sun when it is most available," said Poe, who authored Senate Bill No. 581 or the proposed "Solar Rooftop Adoption Act of 2019."

In a presentation before the Joint Congressional Energy Commission, the Department of Energy estimated peak demand for electricity in Luzon to reach 11,841 megawatts (MW) by May. Peak demand is also expected to reach 2,394 MW in Visayas and 2,098 MW in Mindanao.

The higher demand for energy during the summer months is aggravated by unplanned outages of coal-fired power plants.

This April, power costs for residential customers went up in Luzon because of the tight supply condition that saw peak demand increasing by almost 1,000 MW just when over 3,400 MW became unavailable because of plant outages.

Peak demand is also the main driver of electricity costs due to heavier use of electric fans and airconditioning units. A study by the United States Agency for International Development estimated that a 10-percent reduction in peak demand could potentially bring down spot prices by 20 percent.

"Indeed, the extra sunlight brings additional expense to our households. But if adoption of rooftop solar is more widespread, we can offset costs by harnessing the extra rays as an energy source," noted Poe.

Poe cited a study by the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities that around 2.5-gigawatt peak could be harvested in Metro Manila if solar panels were installed on every viable rooftop. This is equivalent to the amount of electricity produced by a 500-MW coal-fired plant. Excess energy generated during the daytime can also be potentially stored for use in the evening or sold back to the market.

"The lack of interest in promoting rooftop solar is really baffling, considering its potential benefits," added Poe.

The standardization of permits and licenses needed to install rooftop solar panels and the institutionalization of the rooftop solar loan program of the Pag-IBIG Fund are among the proposed reforms in Poe's Senate Bill No. 581.

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