DOE looking to fast-track lowering of RCOA threshold


The Department of Energy (DOE) said it would possibly lower the eligibility threshold for the retail competition and open access (RCOA) program, so that more customers would have the option of choosing their electricity supplier.

Based on the RCOA timeline, contestable customers consuming at least 500 kilowatts (kW) monthly may already choose their own electricity supplier. The threshold would then be lowered to 100kW by January 2022 and to 10kW by January 2023.

At the DOE’s Luzon virtual energy investment forum last week, Energy Asec. Redentor Delola said that the department will be consulting with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP) in pushing for retail aggregation in the RCOA to improve the program’s efficiency.

IEMOP is the operator of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).

Delola pointed out that the ERC has issued certificates of contestability to 2,920 electricity end-users as of May this year, more than thrice compared to 892 in 2013. Of the 2,920 end-users, 1,791 or 61.3% are being served by various retail electricity suppliers (RESs).

Several companies have already begun getting their power supply from RESs under the RCOA.

Wells Fargo Philippines, for instance, is sourcing 65% of its electricity needs from AP Renewables, a RES of Aboitiz Power Corporation. The iconic Ali Mall in Quezon City and Megaworld’s Uptown Place complex in Taguig City are powered by RESs under Lopez-led First Gen Corporation, while Megaworld’s Richmonde Hotels in Metro Manila and biscuit manufacturer Monde M.Y. San get their electricity from Mabuhay Energy Corporation.

Meanwhile, the DOE has yet to develop RCOA policies for Mindanao, as it awaits the beginning of WESM’s commercial operations in the island’s grid.