Power producers expect a ‘more efficient ERC

By Lenie Lectura – February 14, 2019
from Business Mirror

A GROUP of power producers expects “a more efficient Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC)” now that the agency has a full set of commissioners.

“Hopefully, we will see a more efficient ERC because it is already a complete body. We welcome them now that they are finally complete after some time,” Philippine Independent Power Producers Association Inc. (Pippa) Managing Director Anne Estorco Macias said.

The agency is composed of one chairman and four commissioners. It was not able to process various applications since last year because of the suspension and retirement of some commissioners. ERC now aims to finish up to 640 pending applications for power-supply agreements. It will also resolve 200 more applications such as their capital expenditure program, point-to-point transmission lines, among others.

Pippa would also want the ERC to resolve as soon as possible pending matters on ancillary services, the grid code and retail competition, among others. “While the ERC has it own priority list, Pippa is hopeful that pending issues would be addressed as soon as possible. We have a lot of things pending. I’m sure they have their own triage of what is important because we leave that to them,” Macias said. The group also wants the Department of Energy (DOE) and the ERC to closely work together on some issues in a bid to achieve “a stable and reliable power and for the rules and regulations to be harmonized.”

“We will be discussing and reexamining our policies and regulations that we want to be answered and settled. Now that they are complete, we look forward to the continuing communications between the ERC and DOE. Hopefully, the concepts, regulations and policies will be consistent and harmonized. We want to at least lessen vagueness in interpretation,” the Pippa official said. Earlier, ERC Chairman Agnes Devanadera said each commissioner has been recently assigned to handle a committee to allow a reduction in the time spent in handling pending cases.

“We strengthened the ad hoc committees. Whatever they will finish at ad hoc level, they will present to the commission with minimum discussion,” she said.