Philippines victory for consumer choice versus utilities

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
Consumers of more than 1MW electricity per year should soon be able to choose who their off-taker is. Credit: REC

A provision in the Philippines giving medium-scale electricity consumers the ability to choose between retail electricity suppliers other than the local utility has had a major boost after a Supreme Court issuance in its favour.

The Retail Competition and Open Access (RCOA) policies, which seek to open up the power market by giving consumers the freedom of choice, has until now been held back by some utilities, according to energy secretary Alfonso Cusi.

However, the Philippines Supreme Court has issued a Temporary Restraining Order to allow full implementation of the RCOA, halting the attempts of the major utility Manila Electric Company (Meralco) to stifle the reforms.

Meralco had filed via a petition against the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), which have both been pushing for the reforms.

Cusi said: “The Supreme Court saw the need to uphold the role of the DOE – ERC in giving consumers the power of choice. With RCOA in place, ‘Constestable Customers’ or those consuming 1MW of electricity [annually] are now able to choose their power suppliers to reduce their costs.

“In the previous set up, electricity customers were captured by the distribution utilities within their franchise area and were forced to pay the contracted supply of their respective distribution utilities.”

The threshold for ‘Contestible Customers’ to have at least 1MW annual electricity demand is due to be reduced to 750kW two years after the implementation of the RCOA and the threshold will then be gradually reduced until even households will have the power to choose.

Pete Maniego, senior policy adviser of the Institute for Climate & Sustainable Cities and of Counsel of Dime & Eviota Law, recently told PV Tech in an interview on the Philippines market, that the RCOA policies are mandated under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA). Incentives can also be given to companies for installing solar and other renewable energy systems that will reduce their peak and energy demand. Large energy users, perticularly commercial solar users, should benefit from the reforms.

Solar & Off-Grid Renewables Southeast Asia 2016 returns for a fourth year in November. This is the distinguished, must-attend event for solar PV companies looking to secure profitable business across the booming Southeast Asian market. Co-location with our established Solar Finance & Investment conference provides an additional day of bespoke content and offers a deeper dive into issues around clean energy financing and long term capital investments across the region. Click here for more information and to register.

Read Next

September 8, 2021
Solar PV could provide up to 40% of the US’ total power demand by 2035, but only if annual installations quadruple by the middle of the decade.
September 1, 2021
North American Solar manufacturer Silfab Solar has started to ship products from its new manufacturing facility in Burlington, Washington, doubling its previous production capacity to roughly 800MW per year
August 12, 2021
Nine US projects will receive funding from the country’s Department of Energy (DOE) to accelerate the commercialisation of technologies that can help integrate more solar electricity into the energy grid.
August 9, 2021
China’s power planning agency the National Energy Administration (NEA) has demanded regularly monthly updates on new renewable energy projects from utility companies in the country
July 28, 2021
Two US Senators have introduced a bipartisan energy tax proposal to encourage innovation in the clean energy sector and rapidly scale up new technologies.
July 26, 2021
The pace of climate action in the US is “wholly unacceptable”, according to the director of the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Loan Programme Office

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
October 6, 2021
Solar Media Events, Upcoming Webinars
October 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 19, 2021
BRISTOL, UK
Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021