Customers may end up paying higher power costs as the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) is unable to process the applications if for new and renewal of licenses of retail electricity supplier (RES).
This is after the Supreme Court stopped the implementation of retail competition and open access (RCOA) scheme.
“The issuance of the said the temporary restraining order (TRO) has put on hold operational matters of the RCOA such as the issuance of licenses in favor of RES and the lowering of the threshold for contestability,” the ERC said.
It added that these are integral to its mandate of promoting competition and ensuring customer choice pursuant to the provisions of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA).
“This situation effectively bars the entry of new players in the electric power industry,” ERC added.
There are currently 14 license applications pending.
Seven licenses are for renewal. Five are already expired and two are due this year.
Expired licenses include DirectPower Services Inc., where 35 customers demand 71.7 megawatts MW, Ecozone Power Management with 39 customers demanding 105.09 MW; GNPower Ltd. Company with three customers demanding 3.87 MW; PRISM Energy with five customers demanding 11.8 MW; and AdventEnergy Inc. with 62 customers.
This means that 144 customers are affected.
Aboitiz Energy Solutions Inc. and Phinma Energy Corp licenses will expire on October 28, and November 18, respectively.
Meanwhile, Seven of these are new RES filings from the Solar Philippines Retail Electricity Inc., Green Energy Supply Solutions Inc., Green Core Geothermal Inc., Megwatatsolutions Inc. Trademaster Symbior Rooftop Inc. Energy., Trading Management Corp. and Asia Pacific Energy Corp.
The ERC said that non-actions on these applications will affect the operations of RES and will place the contestable customers who they have effective contracts with at a disadvantage.
“In the absence of any safety nets available for these customers, in all probability, they could be subject to the imposition of the much higher supplier of last resort (SOLR) rate,” ERC said.
The implementation of the mandatory migration of large power consumers to RCOA was halted by the Supreme Court through a temporary restraining order.