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ERC cites rate reviews, CSP revision as 2023 priorities

THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said its 2023 priorities are reviewing distribution utility (DU) and transmission rates, as well as revising the guidelines for the competitive selection process (CSP).

ERC Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer Monalisa C. Dimalanta said in a Viber message on Thursday that the ERC will work to mitigate expected rate increase this year.

The ERC hopes to complete the rate reset of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) for the fourth regulatory period by the first quarter of 2023.

Last month, the NGCP filed its application to reset transmission rates. The ERC said that the rate reset will likely result in a lower transmission charge.

In September, the ERC promulgated Resolution No. 08, series of 2022 or the Amended Rules for Setting Transmission Wheeling Rates (RTWR), governing the rate reset process for the NGCP.

However, the ERC held back on ruling on an NGCP motion until the ERC completes a round of public consultations on the amended RTWR.

Ms. Dimalanta said that the ERC will conduct the hearings on the rate reset process this month. The Commission is also targeting the completion of the NGCP’s transmission rate reset for the fifth regulatory period by the second or third quarter of this year.

The ERC is also hoping to work on the generation rate review for pass through charges until March including the power supply agreement (PSA) caravan and complete the review by the first half of 2023.

The ERC is reviewing the PSAs entered into by electric cooperatives to find ways to reduce power rates. By the second quarter, the regulator plans to go ahead with the rate reset for private DUs and electric cooperatives (ECs).

Another area of focus is to “complete with DoE (Department of Energy) the revised guidelines for CSP for PSA contracting by DUs/ECs,” Ms. Dimalanta said.

The ERC will also issue before year’s end pending rulings on PSAs affected by the Supreme Court’s (SC) decision on the Alyansa Para sa Bagong Pilipinas, Inc. cases, she said.

In 2019, the SC affirmed its decision requiring all PSAs submitted by DUs to the ERC beginning June 30, 2015 to undergo CSP, rendering prior agreements ineffective as a basis for determining rates. The decision backed the DoE’s 2015 order requiring all PSAs to undergo the CSP process. — Ashley Erika O. Jose

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