“It’s like a rich family with a solar PV [photovoltaic] system availing of the lifeline discount. It’s contrary to the intent of the law,” said Anna Maria A. Reodica, manager of Meralco’s renewables program management office, in a chance interview.
The net metering system allows solar rooftop owners to export excess power to the grid. This exported electricity is offset by the power they import from a distribution utility during times when their solar power generation system is not active, say, at night.
The lifeline or subsidized rate is given to the low-income captive market of distribution utilities as called for by Republic Act No. 9136 or the “Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001.” Consumers contribute to a fund that is used to offset the discount extended to poor households.