The Energy Regulatory Commission voided the price of electricity at the spot market from October 25 - December 25 2013 because these are not “reasonable, rational and competitive,” a government press release said.
In its March 3 ruling, the ERC directed the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation to calculate the regulated price in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market for the given period and immediately implement it, except for the Manila Electric Company.
Rates to be imposed on Meralco was excluded because these are covered by the temporary restraining order issued by the Supreme Court.
ERC Executive Director Francis Saturnino Juan yesterday said the regulated price would be lower by at least 70 percent of the average voided prices.
Average WESM price last November is about P 22.13 per kilowatthour while it was about P 25.67/kWh last November.
Highest price in the spot market is about P 33.21/kWh last November while it is about P 36.08/kWh last December.
For the December 2013 bill of Meralco, contribution of WESM-sourced supply to the P 3.44 increase in generation charge posted the highest price at P 2.42/kWh.
Juan explained that with the ERC's Order to have a regulated price for the covered period refund to be given by distribution utilities would also be huge.
He also stressed that the ERC Order will not make any decision of the SC on the Meralco rates being questioned moot.
The ERC chief also said that although it was found that there was market failure in the latter part of 2013, electricity users should still pay their bills but based on the soon-to-be released regulated rates.
PEMC president Melinda Ocampo said they have not receive a copy of the ERC Order.
Meralco Vice President and Head of Marketing and Customer Solutions Jose Antonio Valdez said they will await for the PEMC computation and will amend their rates based on it.
He, however, stressed that they cannot touch their December 2013 bill rate yet pending the SC decision.
“We will have to file the application for recovery if the rates are higher but if it's lower than P5.67, we will refund,” he said in a briefing.
The P 5.67/kWh is the rate of Meralco's power last November and December based on the October 2013 supply month.
The SC has issued a TRO on the rate hike of Meralco after some sectors filed a petition questioning the rate hike. The petitioners said the rate hike was approved by ERC without getting public opinion.
Meralco was supposed to increase rate of its transmission charge by P 3.44/kWh in the December bill because of higher charges asked by power generators. The increase would total to P 4.15/kWh including taxes and other charges.*PNA