THE Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC) said on Thursday that more customers participated in the Retail Competition and Open Access (RCOA) into the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) this year which could eventually lead to more competitively priced power rates.
PEMC said the participation of Contestable Customers (CC) in the retail competition increased to 400 this year from 372 in 2015.
In June 2013, PEMC launched and integrated the RCOA into the WESM.
Under this mechanism, electricity consumers can choose their own Retail Electricity Supplier (RES). Commercial and industrial customers have priority in choosing the most advantageous supply offer that can result in more competitively priced power rates.
Effective 26 June 2016, 12 contestable customers with an average peak demand of 750-999 kilowatts (kW) opted to register in the retail market.
The retail market currently reflects 36 suppliers, with 16 RES, 12 Local Retail Electricity Suppliers (Local RES) and six Suppliers of Last Resort (SOLR).
Local RES Manila Electric Company (Meralco) is currently the largest supplier in terms of volume and has 229 CCs registered in the retail market.
A total of 25 distribution utilities and distributors in economic zones are also registered in the retail market as metering services providers that are tasked to ensure the integrity of metering data transmitted to PEMC as the central registration body.
PEMC president Melinda Ocampo is looking forward to an expansion in market membership with the lowering of contestability threshold.
“As we see more customers realize the benefits of retail competition, PEMC has initiated the streamlining of market processes that will ensure that barriers to entry in the retail market are removed,” Ocampo said.
PEMC is a non-stock, non-profit corporation that was incorporated in November 2003 upon the initiative of the Department of Energy (DOE), with representatives from various sectors of the electric power industry to be the governance arm of the WESM.
The WESM was created by Republic Act 9136, or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001, which provides for the establishment of an electricity market that reflects the actual cost of electricity and lowers its price through more efficient production through competition.
WESM is a centralized venue for buyers and sellers to trade electricity as a commodity where its prices are based on actual use (demand) and availability (supply).