An independent consumer group on Monday warned that “unusual” price movements at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) can trigger another power price spike.
The group cited data from WESM showing that the maximum daily market clearing prices on May 10 rose by more than 400 percent even if the daily peak demand in Luzon was much lower than the 9,000 megawatts (MW) forecast by the Department of Energy (DOE).
Tim Abejo, CitizenWatch co-convenor, said consumers find it hard to understand why WESM prices can go up all of a sudden when demand has not picked up.
Abejo described as “irregular and highly suspicious” the sudden movement of electricity prices in the spot market, adding that it will “ultimately be abusive and disadvantageous to the consumers.”
“The Malampaya shutdown has passed and we are no longer expecting price hikes from power generators,” he stressed.
Abejo noted that although all WESM transactions are available online, there is still room for a more real-time and transparent relaying of information to the public.
The Philippine Electric Market Corporation (PEMC), he added, should hold power generators that are manipulating the market liable
“There may be players monopolizing the market,” he said.
CitizenWatch is also looking into the possibility of having a price watch advocacy that will monitor WESM prices.