Expanded retail electricity competition readied
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) is looking at implementing retail competition and open access (RCOA) at the level of individual small and medium enterprises or groups of households as early as February 2021, meaning customers can buy electricity from suppliers other than the incumbent distributor in their area.
The ERC has called for comments from all interested parties about a draft resolution laying down a proposed timeline for the start of RCOA among consumers that represent less than 750 kilowatts. These will be accepted until Oct. 12
Presently, RCOA is in being practiced in the Luzon and Visayas grids—mandated for consumers or groups of consumers that represent power demand of at least 1 megawatt and voluntary for consumers with at least 750 kW but less than 1 MW.
In its draft resolution, RCOA is to be implemented for consumers that need 500 kW but less than 750 kW starting Feb. 26, 2021.
Also, the scheme is proposed to take effect for consumers who need at least 100 kW but less than 500 kW on Jan. 26, 2022.
Further, the proposed resolution sets the start of RCOA for consumers who need at least 10 kW but less than 100 kW on Jan. 26, 2023.
In the franchise areas of Manila Electric Co., which accounts for three-quarters of power demand in Luzon, the typical residential customer consumes about 200 kilowatt-hours a month.
According to Meralco, a demand threshold of 10 kW would comprise about 10 to 20 such households.
“The benefits of the RCOA scheme will soon come to fruition despite the temporary setback that came up against its implementation,” ERC Chair Agnes Devanadera said in a statement.
The requirement for customers with demand of at least 750 kW but less than 1 MW to exercise the RCOA scheme is being contested at the Supreme Court.
“The envisioned competition in the retail level of the supply sector will soon be a reality and the consuming public will be the beneficiaries of the RCOA as they can opt to choose the electricity provider that offers the most competitive price,” Devanadera said.
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