31 customers deferring switch to RCOA after SC’s TRO

By Myrna M. Velasco – February 24, 2017, 6:42 PM

from Manila Bulletin

Following policy muddle because of the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the Supreme Court, about 31 contestable customers have asked for deferment of their registration for switching into the retail competition and open access (RCOA) regime of the restructured electricity sector.

Data obtained from central registration body Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC) and the Department of Energy (DOE) had shown that 27 customers within the 1.0-megawatt threshold and four in the 750-kilowatt threshold had asked to temporarily hold off their switching applications to the retail electricity suppliers (RES) that they had underwritten power supply agreements (PSAs) with.

Contestable customers are those end-users within prescribed consumption level that can already directly negotiate and contract for their power supply requirements.

The four contestable customers in the 750kW threshold that have backpedaled a bit in their switching moves are: Aeroprime Development Corporation; Atlantic Grains, Inc.; Seascape and Pepsi Cola Products Philippines, Inc.

Those in the 1.0MW usage level holding off their retail competition switch are: Aeroprime Land Development Corporation 2; Asian Star Condominium Corporation;  Foster Foods, Inc.; VVH Realty Corporation; Alphaland Corporation; Filinvest Alabang, Inc., Filinvest Land Inc. for two accounts; Grand Cenia Condominium Corporation;  Holiday Inn Resort; Jimmy Pua Enterprises, Inc.; Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino Inc.; Taiyo-Nippon Sanso Philippines, Inc.; Filinvest Asia Corporation (PB Comm Tower); Premier Southern Corporation; and SM Prime Holdings Inc.-Makati, Mall of Asia Arena, SM Prime Holdings, Inc-MAAX; SM Center-Sangandaan, SM Center-Angono; as well as the SM branches in Baliwag, Bacoor, Muntinlupa, Naga, Sucat 1 & 2; and the SMX Convention Center.

The latest contestable customer registrants, according to the operator of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) had been 562 – with the bulk of 512 customers in the 1.0MW threshold; and 50 CCs are in the 750kW power demand level.

Customer switching as initially targeted this February 26 had 306 applicants for those in 1.0MW level but 17 already deferred; while 43 customers are in the 750kW usage level.

Clarity in rules and policies as well as forward directions are being demanded now from the DOE, Energy Regulatory Commission as well as from the Supreme Court on the parameters of its restraining order.

ERC Chairman Jose Vicente B. Salazar said “we will continue to explore all legal options available to us,” in reference to the restrained policy that was questioned in the high court by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), San Beda College Alabang, Inc., Ateneo de Manila University and Riverbank Development Corporation.

Salazar stressed “we hold firmly to our position that the reforms are good for the country,” adding that “we keep our hope that the High Court would also see the wisdom and merit of our position on these reforms.”

The DOE, for its part, has noted that it will call for a tripartite meeting to discuss the implications of the SC ruling on legal and technical facets; and they shall also flesh out feasible directions for the industry moving forward.

The mandatory enforcement of RCOA within the 1.0MW threshold is slated February 26 this year, but with the ultimate court’s verdict, it is deemed that the policy’s implementation may need to stay at ‘voluntary’ phase.

The high court noted the imposition of premium on capacity that shall be availed of via the supplier of last resort (SOLR), but that has already been waived or set at zero-percent temporarily by the ERC – for at least six months or until August this year.

With the anticipated full blown competition in the power industry, many big-ticket customers have actually shifted already to the licensed retail electricity suppliers  (RES) on their power supply contracting.

The switching on procurement had been from their franchised distribution utilities (DUs) to the power retailers that recently mushroomed rapidly on anticipation of RCOA’s implementation.

Based on ERC’s roll, the are already 30 licensed retail suppliers of electricity, including: Aboitiz Energy Solutions, Inc.; Advent Energy Inc. (AdventEnergy); DirectPower Services Inc. (DPSI); Ezocone Power Management Inc. (EPMI); Global Energy Supply Corporation (GESC); GNPower Ltd. Co.;  Kratos RES, Inc.; Masinloc Power Partners Co. Ltd. (MPPCL); Premier Energy Resources Corporation (PERC);  PRISM Energy, Inc.; San Miguel Electric Corporation (SMELC); TeaM (Phils) Energy Corp (TPEC);  PHINMA Energy Corporation;  SN  Aboitiz Power-RES Inc.; First Gen Energy Solutions; Manta Energy Inc.;  Millennium Power RES Inc.; FDC Retail Electricity Sales Corp (FDC RES); SMC Consolidated Power Corporation; Corenergy Inc.;  AC Energy Holdings, Inc.; Anda Power Corporation; KEPCO SPC Power Corporation; SEM-Calaca Power RES Inc.; Citicore Energy Solutions, Inc.; Mazzaraty Energy Corporation; Vantage Energy Solutions and Management, Inc.;  Solvre, Inc.; MeridianX, Inc. and Bac-Man Geothermal, Inc.

From the 1.0MW threshold, that had been intended to be lowered to 750 kilowatts by June this year, based on rules previously issued by the industry regulator.