DOE to form new RCOA rules

To avoid more delays in implementing the retail competition and open access (RCOA) scheme, the Department of Energy (DOE) is relaxing its policies on consumers’ transition to an open market.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi yesterday said they will created rules for the transition of consumers with a monthly demand of at least 750-kilowatts (kw) to RCOA, slated for June this year.

“What we’re going to do for the 750-kw threshold, which is targeted in June, I think it will be voluntary. [But] we’ll have to come up with a new circular,” Cusi said.

He assured that the new rules is only for a voluntary transition and will not penalize non-compliance.

Early this week, the Supreme Court (SC) released a temporary restraining order on the DOE and Energy Regulatory Commission’s (ERC) new policy calling for the mandatory migration of big power consumers to RCOA.

The ERC set a deadline of February 26 for all end-users with at least one megawatt (MW) of peak demand.

Contestable consumers who already executed their retail supplier contracts are allowed to keep their agreement with retail electricity suppliers, Cusi said.

“What has been issued a TRO, to my understanding, was the mandatory in 1-MW. Under the mandatory, those who have prepared for the transition and signed contracts can proceed. Those others who want to sign up under optional or voluntary, they can proceed with that,” he said.

The DOE, ERC and the Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC) said they will form a new unified policy that will guide power players in their transition to the RCOA.