POLICY DISCUSSIONS: In photo are the stakeholders participating in the discussions during the DOE’s public consultation on proposed power industry-focused policies on Monday (June 11) at the Legend Villas in Mandaluyong City.
Mandaluyong City – The Department of Energy-Electric Power Industry Management Bureau (DOE-EPIMB) conducted on Monday (June 11), a public consultation on three proposed policies at the Legend Villas.
The public consultation solicited comments and suggestions from power industry stakeholders to further improve existing policies of the DOE.
Under the watch of Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi, the DOE-EPIMB intends to issue three new policies concerning the power sector.
First is a policy prescribing a uniform monthly electricity bill format for the captive market of distribution utilities (DUs) to ensure greater transparency and public awareness.
The proposed policy calls for further transparency in the electricity bills of DUs by providing a breakdown of the transmission charge to include delivery and ancillary service charges, and itemized systems loss to identify technical and non-technical losses.
It also entails the adoption by all DUs of a uniform bill format, which can be easily understood by electricity end-users. The new bill format will reflect the status of bill deposits being charged by the DUs to the consumers, giving them updates on the principal and the interest earned.
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), as prescribed in the draft Circular, will also provide the necessary regulatory issuances for the implementation of the policy within 60 days.
The second policy proposal prescribes the rules governing the review and evaluation of direct connection applications by industrial, commercial and other qualified electricity end-users, as well as ecozone enterprises.
This provides a transparent procedure on how the DOE will exercise its function to review and evaluate applications for direct connection of end-users and economic zone enterprises to the grid.
Applications for direct connections were previously being filed with the ERC until the Supreme Court declared that the direct supply of electricity is not within the ERC's jurisdiction to resolve, but falls within the purview of the DOE.
Currently, the ERC endorses to the DOE all previously filed applications for direct connections.
The third policy is for the efficient transition of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) to the Independent Market Operator (IMO) regime.
The draft Department Circular on IMO Governance Arrangements primarily stipulates additional guidance and operational safeguards for the WESM under the IMO to ensure transparency, competitiveness, the protection of public interest, as well as the integrity of the WESM.
More than 150 participants attended the event, including representatives from the House Committee on Energy, National Electrification Administration, National Grid Corp. of the Philippines, Philippine Electricity Market Corp., Philippine Competition Commission, Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp., generation companies, distribution utilities, electric cooperatives, retail electricity suppliers, direct customers, local government units of Bulacan and Ilocos Sur, the academe, and consumer group Citizen Watch.
For wider stakeholder involvement, the DOE will accept the public’s comments and suggestions on these proposed policies: (1) until 15 June 2018 for the Independent IMO Governance Arrangements; and (2) 30 June 2018 for both the Uniform Electricity Bill Format and the Direct Connection Guidelines.