February 27, 2017

DOE to ease rules on open access

The Department of Energy is reportedly easing its rules on the transition of consumers with at least 750 kw in monthly demand to an open market scheme to prevent delays in the implementation of the Retail Competition and Open Access (RCOA), according to a report in the Philippine Star.

The decision to form the new rules came after a temporary restraining order (TRO) was issued by the Supreme Court (SC) on the DOE and Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to implement the mandatory migration of large power consumers to RCOA.

The SC said there appears to be no basis for the mandatory migration as the EPIRA law provides for voluntary migration of end-users. The mandatory migration to RCOA of end-users with at least one MW in monthly demand was set for Feb 26 while those with a monthly demand of 750-kW is scheduled on June 26.

According to the report, the new rules for the transition of 750-kW monthly end-users to RCOA may only call for voluntary transition and will not include penalties for non-compliance. Following the issuance of the TRO, the DOE, ERC and the Philippine Electric Market Corp (PEMC) will form a unified policy to guide power plants on shifting to the open market scheme.

This is to allay concerns raised by market players on the impact of the TRO and provide a balance playing field to those who have signed to shift to RCOA.