The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has resumed acting on applications for retail electricity supplier (RES) licenses, allowing consumers to exercise their “power of choice” in accordance to the Retail Competition and Open Access (RCOA) policy of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA).
ERC Director and Spokesperson Florensinda B. Digal expressed in a Manila Bulletin report that the commission has re-started processing both new and renewal of RES licenses as the issue on the renewal of expired RES licenses had already been resolved.
According to the report, ERC invoked a 2011 Resolution on RES licensing; but with these rules not covered by the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the high court, the regulatory body used it as leverage to resume the issuance of new RES licenses; thus, presenting the “power of choice” to a larger base of qualified and interested consumers in the Luzon and Visayas grids.
The long-term goal is to bring down power retailing up to the household level so they can also make a choice on who shall supply their electricity.
Last year, the ERC confirmed the expiration of the RES licenses of the industry’s key players such as those under the Ayala and Aboitiz groups. With the resumption of the RES licenses’ processing, it is projected that these retailers can flourish again on their offer of power supply under the competitive purview of the restructured power sector.
Interested entrant-suppliers in the retail market could now also join with the ERC’s re-instituted policy.