Retail competition in power sector expanded
Electricity consumers, individually or in groups, whose peak demand is at least 500 kilowatts (kW) may choose to buy energy from retailers other than the incumbent distributor in their area starting Feb. 26, 2021.
This will be possible, but on a voluntary basis, as the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has issued a resolution that gives the green light for the third-phase implementation of the Retail Competition and Open Access (RCOA) program.
RCOA is intended to realize the intention of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira) to promote competition and ensure the successful restructuring and modernization of the electric power industry.
“The expansion of the RCOA coverage is the embodiment of the Epira’s end-goal of achieving competition at the retail or end-user level,” ERC Chair Agnes Devanadera said in a statement.
“Promoting robust and fair competition among the market participants is definitely one ofthe significant considerations that the ERC is eyeing which can help boost further the country’s economy especially in the power industry during this trying times,” Devanadera said.
Currently, RCOA is being practiced in the Luzon and Visayas grids—mandated for consumers or groups of consumers that represent power demand of at least one megawatt (Phase 1) and voluntary for consumers with at least 750 kW but less than 1 MW (Phase 2).
The requirement for Phase 2 consumers to adapt the RCOA scheme is being contested at the Supreme Court.
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