Lower RCOA threshold entices new contestable customers


The lowering of the threshold under the Retail Competition and Open Access (RCOA) policy has attracted at least 13 new contestable customers, most of them buildings and water pumping stations in Metro Manila.

Manny V. Pangilinan-led Maynilad Water Services is among the companies that exercised its freedom to choose its own electricity supplier with the RCOA threshold now at 500 kilowatts (kW) from the previous 750kW.

The Energy Regulatory Commission lowered the minimum consumption level to qualify as a contestable customer under RCOA was lowered last Friday (February 26). Under RCOA, contestable customers can directly contract with a retail electricity supplier (RES) for the volume, rate, and package of services that it prefers. RCOA intends to lower electricity prices by introducing competition among various players.

In a recent briefing, Jonathan De La Viña, market operations development manager of the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP), said that the new retail customers applied for switching in January. This was followed by their actual move to RESs.

IEMOP (logo above) operates the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), which serves as the central registration body for RCOA participants.

De La Viña noted that there have been 194 switches between RESs in 2020, while 352 contestable customers did RES switches from 2014 to 2019.

IEMOP is preparing for the implementation of even lower RCOA thresholds of 100kW by January 2022 and implementation for household levels by January 2023.


Logo from IEMOP website.