2023-2032 National Total Electrification Roadmap

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Electrification access is consistently one of the flagship programs and priority policy of the Government. This is because ensuring sufficient and affordable access to electricity is considered a vital element for economic prosperity and enhancing the quality of life of the Filipinos, especially the marginalized households in remote areas. Access to electricity also opens opportunities for income-generating activities, promoting commercial development and inclusive social progress. Consequently, the Government has made significant investments in implementing various electrification reforms and related programs. The objective is to promote social equity and reap long-term economic benefits for society.

To extend the benefits of electricity on a broader scale, various rural electrification efforts are being pursued as outlined in the 2023-2032 National Total Electrification Roadmap (NTER). Electrification primarily entails providing electricity access to remote and rural areas, often located far from existing urban infrastructure. Notably, a large portion of households without access to electricity can be found in these remote rural areas, contributing to the country's poverty challenges.

Moreover, the Philippines' archipelagic geography poses a significant challenge to achieving total electrification, necessitating substantial government involvement. Comprising of 7,641 islands, the country's insufficient infrastructure remains a significant impediment to delivering essential services like electricity, particularly in remote and isolated areas. To this end, the 2023-2032 NTER highlights public and private sector collaboration particularly in bringing electricity services to areas declared as underserved and unserved.

With the latest policy development on electrification programs, under the Republic Act (RA) No. 11646 otherwise known as “The Act of Promoting the Use of Microgrid Systems to Accelerate the Total Electrification of Unserved and Underserved Areas Nationwide” or the “Microgrid Systems Act” (MGSA), the Department of Energy (DOE) will lead the implementation of NTER which aims to achieve 100% total electrification by 2028 through the four (4) Electrification Strategies namely: (1) Household Electrification – Regular Connection; (2) Distribution Line Extension; (3) Stand Alone Home System (SAHS); and (4) Microgrid System, and with consideration of all lessons learned from the past. To say the least, the implementation of MGSA is poised to play a big role in the electricity ecosystem and power distribution and generation in underserved and unserved areas of the country.

The NTER rationalizes all electrification initiatives, interventions, and strategies towards sustainable energy development, improvement of the quality of life of every Filipino, as well as reliable and secure electricity services at reasonable rates in unserved and underserved areas, while promoting private sector participation for electrification efforts and prioritizing low-cost, indigenous, renewable, and environment-friendly sources of energy.

This is consistent with the State's declared policy to ensure and accelerate the country's total electrification as provided in Section 2(a) of RA No. 9136. RA No. 9136 also mandates the Distribution Utilities (DUs) to provide universal service in their franchise areas including unviable areas at a reasonable time.

The different electrification strategies and activities, consistent with the National Total Electrification Framework shall be implemented by the implementing partners, National Electrification Administration (NEA), National Power Corporation-Small Power Utilities Group (NPC-SPUG), all 149 DUs, the partner Local Government Units (LGUs), DOE-accredited State Universities and Colleges, and other Program partners that are competent to implement household electrification projects.

As of June 2023, the household electrification level is 91.1% with 25.3 million households served versus the estimated potential households of 27.727 million based on the 2020 Census on Population and Housing (CPH). For the rest of 2023, the estimated unserved households are at 2.454 million.

For the period 2024-2028, the DOE estimated, based on the 2020 CPH, that the electrification efforts need to cater to 3.677 million households, of which, 2.706 million are within the franchise areas of the Electric Cooperatives (ECs) requiring different modes of connection and some degree of subsidy for initial energization. Meanwhile, the remaining 0.971 million households which are expected to be served by Private Investor-Owned Utilities (PIOUs) and Local Government Unit- Owned Utilities (LGUOUs), are expected to be undertaken generally through regular connections. The DOE also noted that 1.285 million of 3.677 million households that need electricity are in the off-grid areas, which include those residing in the main grid but are very difficult to reach through regular connection and require alternative solutions.

Aside from the ECs’ capital expenditures (CapEx) approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and grants from foreign-assisted projects, the support to the ECs’ electrification is identified through the regular programs of the NEA, the locally funded Total Electrification Project (TEP) of the DOE, and the tender for Microgrid Service of the unserved and underserved areas pursuant to RA No. 11646. Accordingly, to meet the total electrification target, a total of PhP70.473 billion will be required to support the NEA and DOE projects to energize 1.402 million households. Out of this amount, NEA estimated that it will require PhP69.200 billion to cover 1.386 million households.

Meanwhile, the PIOUS and LGUOUs projected a total CapEx of PhP1.496 billion for distribution line extension and solar home system (SHS) projects to connect 15,768 remote households. Further, the PIOUs and LGUOUs are expected to ensure the connection of potential households under the regular connection scheme in line with their mandate under the Magna Carta for Residential Electricity Customers.

Moving forward, the DOE shall continue to assess the program implementation of different electrification projects and enable the DUs to adjust their electrification targets and strategies to fully comply with their mandate of providing universal service. The DOE targets to complete the first Microgrid Service Provider (MGSP) - Competitive Selection Process (CSP) by the 1st quarter of 2024 which can be an avenue to further serve remote and hard to reach areas through the award of declared unserved and underserved areas to qualified MGSP and achieve 100% household electrification by 2028.

Beyond 2028, the NTER considers that almost all new households requiring electricity access will be connected to the grid, or microgrid, or stand-alone home system for those still not possible to be connected to a grid system.