ERC approves three Meralco retail suppliers

by Alena Mae S. Flores – February 13, 2017 at 07:57 pm

from Manila Standard Today

The Energy Regulatory Commission approved three Manila Electric Co.-affiliated retail electricity suppliers, allowing them to sell their output to contestable customers or those with a monthly average demand of at least one megawatt.

The three affiliated retail electricity suppliers are Vantage Energy Solutions and Management Inc., Solvre Inc. and MeridianX Inc.

ERC spokesman Rexie Digal said the agency approved Meralco’s affiliated RES Vantage Energy on Jan. 10 and the latter already paid the license registration fee.

Meralco filed Vantage Energy’s application for retail electricity supplier license on Nov. 29.

The move is in compliance with the recent Supreme Court ruling which stopped the Pasig regional trial court from proceeding with its temporary restraining order and injunction on the retail competition and open access scheme being implemented by ERC and the Energy Department.

“As a distribution utility affiliated RES, Vantage Energy intends to provide retail energy services which will include wholesale contracting, energy trading and sourcing, marketing, selling and aggregating electricity, billing, collection and the provision of other value added services to contestable customers,” Meralco said.

ERC also approved MeridianX’s license on Feb, 9 but the company still needed to pay the license fee. It also approved on the same day the application of Solvre, the retail electricity supplier of Meralco PowerGen Corp. which has yet to pay license fee. Meralco PowerGen is Meralco’s power generation arm.

Meralco’s head of legal department William Pamintuan said earlier they would comply with the Supreme Court’s decision on forming a new RES.

“We emphasize, however, that our decision to form a new RES is without prejudice to the final resolution of the courts on the cases filed by the ERC and DOE involving the issue of the validity and continued operation of the local RES,” Pamintuan said.

Pamintuan said they also filed a motion for reconsideration which was “not intended to prevent the implementation of valid RCOA rules which we have consistently supported but rather to seek legal redress against the recent issuance related to RCOA that are contrary to provisions of the Epira [Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001] and detrimental to fail competition and consumer interest.”

Meralco earlier asked for the issuance of the TRO from the Pasig RTC to stop the implementation of open access, as it would create irreparable damage to the company.

It said that as a distribution utility, it did not need to get retail electricity suppliers license as it was already covered by its franchise.

Contestable customers or those with a monthly demand of one megawatt and above are mandated to source power from their own suppliers by  Feb. 26, 2017.