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ERC asks electricity market operator to explain ‘extreme’ price hike in Iloilo

The Energy Regulatory Commission asked Philippine Electricity Market Corp. to respond to the queries of MORE Electric and Power Corp. on the high line rental payables at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market in July that translated into an increase of P1.5351 per kilowatt-hour to residential customers of Iloilo City.

ERC chairperson Agnes Devanadera acted on the letter of MORE seeking assistance on its WESM bill for July.

MORE said it noted numerous “extreme” price separation due to the damage encountered in one of the circuits of the submarine cable of National Grid Corp. of the Philippines between Cebu and Negros, which limited the flow of power supply between the islands. The damage occurred during the dredging activities of the Department of Public Works and Highways on June 15.

MORE’s line rental payables in the July billing month amounted to P66.15 million, which would translate into P1.5351-per-kWh price hike for residential consumers.

MORE also informed ERC that its generation charge was projected to increase by 76 percent in September after hitting a record low of P3.55 per kWh in July 2021.

“MORE Power is bleeding to pay IEMOP [Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines] a line rental amount of P164.4 million, more than twice that of P66.15M from last month... This extreme price hike in WESM projected to continue until December, pending complete repair of the NGCP’s damaged submarine cable. This means another unbearable four months for the paying consumers just because of the underwater mishap of the DPWH’s operator,” the company said.

MORE asked the ERC to urgently look into the burden caused by the damaged submarine cable “as this will continuously rip the consumers by paying exorbitant electricity rates.”

ERC said it directed PEMC to provide within three days its input on the inquiry of MORE on the non-imposition of the price substitution methodology during the period where issues on the NGCP line were encountered , considering that the scheduling and pricing of real-time data and the billing and settlement procedures are part of the market operation functions.

AleIt also asked PEMC, which supervises the WESM, to submit the breakdown of the computation of the line rentals of MORE porior to the submarine breakdown, MORE’s nodal prices and other documents.

MORE said its nodal price surged to as high as P45 per kWh which deviates from the permanent price cap of P32 per kWh set by the ERC for the protection of the consumers.

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Trenas also asked ERC to intervene for a swift and decisive action to resolve the increase in Iloilo City rates.

Topics: Energy Regulatory Commission , ERC , Philippine Electricity Market Corp. , MORE Electric and Power Corp. , Wholesale Electricity Spot Market
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