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ERC surpasses 2019 accomplishments despite the pandemic

THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) in its yearend report indicated better numbers when compared to its Accomplishments in 2019. There is a noted 21% increase in terms of cases acted upon by the Commission despite the challenges brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“ERC’s ability to quickly adapt to the ‘New Normal’ proves its resiliency and determination to fulfill its mandate that even this pandemic did not get in the way,” said ERC Chairperson and CEO Agnes VST Devanadera.

In its report, the ERC registered a total of 748 cases acted upon during the year (2020) as against the 2019 accomplishment of 617 or a 21% increase.

There are also increases in the number of Orders, Decisions, Resolutions, Notices, and Certificate of Approval/Authority issued by the Commission.

The ERC promulgated the “Guidelines Governing Electronic Applications, Filings, and Virtual Hearings” to properly guide the relevant stakeholders with the electronic system of transacting with the ERC while protecting the health and ensuring the safety of all stakeholders.

Various rate reduction schemes were undertaken through Orders and Advisories issued during the government’s imposition of community quarantine to provide rate relief to the consuming public, particularly the following:

(1) Reduction in the System Loss cap which was lowered by PhP0.05/kWh;

(2) Reduced Feed-InTariff Allowance (FIT-All) by PhP0.1731/kWh;

(3) Rate adjustment in the Net Settlement Surplus (NSS) equivalent to PhP1.94 Billion;

(4) Refund of Regulatory Reset Experts Cost equivalent to PhP318.8 Million;

(5) Lowering of the RCOA (Retail Competition and Open Access) threshold to cover more consumers that will enjoy lower generation rates;

(6) Refund of over-recoveries of 64 Distribution Utilities (DUs) amounting to PhP3.3 Billion;

(7) Refund of excess Market Transaction Fees (MTF) equivalent to PhP688 Million;

(8) Avoided rate increase (amounting to PhP95.4 Million) due to the dismissal of PSALM’s Applications for recovery of Stranded Debts and Stranded Contract Costs due to Murang Kuryente Act;

(9) Suspension of FIT-All and Universal Charge – Environmental Charge (UC-EC); and

(10) Suspension of Bill Deposit Adjustment.

Distribution Utilities (DUs) were likewise ordered to allow their electricity customers to pay their electricity bills on a staggered basis up to six (6) equal monthly installments for their electricity bills during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) and Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) periods without penalties, interests, and other fees.