February 16, 2015
MANILA – The government-appointed operator of the Philippines’ electricity spot market is set to reduce the minimum consumption level that is required of a consumer who wants to source power on its own without having to go through distributors like Meralco.
According to Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC) president Melinda Ocampo, the company is ready to lower the retail competition and open access (RCOA) cap to 750 kilowatts (kW) from the prevailing 1 megawatt (MW).
“We are preparing, but the declaration will come from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) not us… Preparatory for the 750-kW, so in case ERC says tomorrow, we are ready,” Ocampo said, referring to the Energy Regulatory Commission.
The RCOA sets the cap below which consumers would have to go through distributors to gain access to electricity. Above the cap, a consumer can forego the distributor and purchase directly from power plant operators, retail electricity suppliers (RES) or the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM), which PEMC operates.
Under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira), the RCOA cap was set at 1 MW starting June 2013. After two years, this cap should be lowered to 750 kW.
The RCOA eligibility would be lowered to the household levels starting at 500-kW, and later on at 250-kW, thus eliminating a consumer’s dependence on distribution utilities like Manila Electric Company.
InterAksyon.com is the online news portal of TV5, which like Meralco is chaired by Manuel V. Pangilinan. With a report from Philippine News Agency