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A TOTAL 78 government entities belonged to the contestable market as of September, giving them the option to buy their electricity from a licensed retail electricity supplier (RES) instead of the distribution utility that owns the franchise of the area where their offices are based.

Based on latest data from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), the state firms are among the 1,571 companies in Luzon and the Visayas that have the power to choose their power suppliers, which claim to offer lower rates than distribution utilities.

These government entities include Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Philippine International Convention Center, the Government Service Insurance System and the Social Security System.

The list includes schools such as the University of the Philippines and utilities such as the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System.

The ERC data show Luzon has a total of 1,016 1-megawatt (MW) “contestable customers” or those whose power usage have reached a monthly average of 1 MW in the past year.

Luzon’s 750-900 kilowatt (kW) contestable customers have numbered 368 as of September. They too can buy their electricity from a licensed RES.

The distinction between the two consumer groups is the scheduled date during which they were mandated to switch to a RES from a distribution utility. The regulations that call for the switch are currently on hold after these were questioned before the Supreme Court, which issued a temporary restraining order.

In the Visayas, the number of contestable customers within the 1-MW threshold hit 147, while those in the 750-900 range numbered 40 during the period.

Retail electricity supply rules are in force where the electricity spot market operates, thus Mindanao has remained excluded under the rules covering retail competition and open access (RCOA).

Luzon had a total of 1,384 retail electricity suppliers, while Visayas had 187 as of September.

Reference:

Saulon, V. V. (November 21, 2017). ERC: 78 gov’t firms eligible under retail power supply rules. Business World. Retrieved from http://bworldonline.com/erc-78-govt-firms-eligible-retail-power-supply-rules/

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