Energy department advises freeze on power supply talks for big users

THE Department of Energy (DoE) has told big power users to put on hold negotiations to source supply from retail electricity suppliers ahead of a common stand from government agencies after the Supreme Court blocked regulations that called for retail competition and open access (RCOA) in the power sector.

“Freeze everything until the Supreme Court completes its hearings in accordance with the law,” said Energy Undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella in a new conference on Thursday at the DoE office in Taguig City.

The DoE’s advisory came after the high court issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) on Feb. 21 against a department circular and four resolutions issued by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) less than a week before Feb. 26, the date when power users consuming an average of at least 1 megawatt (MW) per month are required to source power from a licensed retail electricity supplier (RES) and away from distribution utilities.

Mr. Fuentebella said the DoE, ERC and Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC) had scheduled a meeting to “hopefully come up with a unified statement by noon” on Friday.

“The unified statement is an advisory to all the players,” he said, adding that other market participants such as distribution utilities might be invited in the discussions.

Read more here.

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