New power regulation seen to hurt consumers
Power sector watchdog Bantay Kuryente has lauded recent moves to challenge before the Supreme Court the questionable energy policies being pushed by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
In a statement, Bantay Kuryente cited the Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Ateneo De Manila University, San Beda College-Alabang and mall owner Riverbanks Development Corp. for opposing ERC’s new policy.
“This shows that there is multisectoral opposition to the ERC’s new policy,” Bantay Kuryente secretary general Pet Climaco said.
Bantay Kuryente lamented the recently issued retail competition and open access policy regulations of the Department of Energy and the ERC.
Under this latest policy, consumers with a peak demand of at least one megawatt have until Feb. 26, 2017 to comply with the new rules. To comply, consumers will be forced to break out of existing contracts and enter into new deals with new suppliers even at a higher cost.
According to Climaco, “the policy will only result in higher electricity prices for consumers and businesses alike.”
Climaco also criticized the questionable timing of the ERC’s push for mandatory contestability. “With such a tight deadline, rushing into this new energy regime will catch consumers and businesses off guard,” Climaco said.
“Faced with the risk of brownouts if supply contracts are not secured by the February deadline, the ERC’s policy could force consumers into entering unfavorable contracts just to meet this unrealistic deadline set by the ERC. The freedom of ordinary consumers to decide what is best for themselves is being threatened by this policy and in the end, they will bear the brunt of this unjust regulations as big commercial and industrial establishments may merely tuck-in the additional cost of electricity in their expenses,” Climaco added.
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