The Energy Regulatory Commission should flex its might after rejecting San Miguel Global Power’s petition for a modest rate increase by requiring other power generators to make counter offers at a similar—if not lower—prices, a think tank said.
Infrawatch PH convenor Terry Ridon said ERC’s intervention is urgent considering that rates at the wholesale electricity spot market or WESM are easily 75% higher than what San Miguel offered to the Manila Electric Company (Meralco).
“The commission, together with the energy department, should exhibit sectoral leadership and compel power generators to make competing price proposals no higher than the price proposal in the joint petition,” he said in a statement.
“If the ERC entertains price proposals significantly higher than the price proposal in the rejected joint petition, it will have failed to ensure the least cost to consumers, which is one of the most fundamental principles in energy regulation,” Ridon added.
ERC thumbed down the joint petition of Meralco and SMC’s subsidiary, South Premiere Power Corp. (SPP) to raise electricity rates on the back of the Russia-Ukraine war’s impact on power supply, saying that the rates stated in the power supply agreement of the two companies must be followed.
Ridon said any looming power increase in 2023 should be blamed on ERC.
“More expensive power in the new year is the direct consequence of the ERC’s rejection of the joint SMC Global-Meralco petition to temporarily raise power rates by at least P0.30,” Ridon said, adding that it is up to ERC to look for a new power provider that charges at least cost.