744 ‘contestable’ customers switch to retail suppliers

By Myrna M. Velasco – April 18, 2017, 10:01 PM

from Manila Bulletin

At least 744 contestable customers have already affirmed that they are “king” when it comes to exercising preference on their electricity service – that had been following the switch they made to retail electricity suppliers.

The Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC), central registration body (CRB) for the retail competition and open access (RCOA) policy in the restructured electricity sector, said the customers that already switched are generally those in the 1.0-megawatt threshold.

“As of February 26, 2017, 744 customers have exercised their option to source their electricity requirements from the retail suppliers,” PEMC said.

These are still under “voluntary phase” following the temporary restraining order (TRO) of the Supreme Court on the rules and Department of Energy (DOE) Circular relating to RCOA regime’s enforcement.

The 744 customers account for more than 65-percent of the 1,133 qualified end-users in the 1.0-megawatt threshold to be in the RCOA sphere of supply contracting, as culled from the data of the Energy Regulatory Commission.

That so far excluded the roughly 140 contestable customers that deferred switching applications after the issuance of the high court’s restraining order.

According to PEMC, a number of those that sought deferment are still in the 1.0MW threshold; while the rest are in the 750-kilowatt level.

ERC indicated that about 401 customers are eligible for “contestability” in the lowered 750kW threshold, but their switching to retail suppliers had been put on hold until the resolution of the legal backlash in the RCOA rules and related edicts.

Contestable customers are those that can already exercise their “freedom of choice” when it comes to their electricity suppliers within the prescribed thresholds set by the industry regulator.

While the competitive retail market treads on to critical transition, PEMC as CRB has noted that it is already preparing to “deploy the Central Registration and Settlement System” by June this year.

This is an information technology (IT) system that shall support the registration, metering, and settlement processes of the integrated wholesale and retail markets.