Power producers ‘concerned’ by SC TRO on retail competition

INDEPENDENT power generation companies on Monday expressed their concern over the move by the Supreme Court (SC) to block the rules to implement the energy sector’s rules on retail competition and open access (RCOA).

In a statement, the Philippine Independent Power Producers Association (PIPPA) said it “notes with concern” the high court’s temporary restraining order (TRO) indefinitely enjoining the implementation and enforcement of the regulations issued by the Department of Energy (DoE) and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on RCOA.

“The RCOA is mandated by the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA) but implemented only in 2013. It aims to institutionalize competition in the supply of electricity, allowing the electricity end-users to choose their suppliers based on low price and other factors,” it said.

“The recent TRO issued by the Supreme Court has the effect of putting on hold aspects of the RCOA, specifically the timeline for lowering of thresholds,” it added.

“PIPPA supports the implementation of RCOA and hopes that the issues before the Supreme Court will be resolved with finality at the soonest possible time,” it said, adding that it supports the move from the DoE and ERC for a unified policy on RCOA.

“We hope that this will finally settle the issues and the industry will already move forward to attain the objectives of EPIRA,” PIPPA said.

PIPPA’s statement came after the high tribunal issued the TRO on Feb. 21 against a department circular and four resolutions issued by the 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.

Read more here.

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