The Manila Electric Company (Meralco), Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), and the University of the Philippines Diliman (UP Diliman) will pilot an implementation of Retail Aggregation that will allow the academic institution to choose its preferred supplier of electricity for the combined power requirements of the various buildings within the campus.
To formalize this partnership, key officials from Meralco, ERC, and UP Diliman signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the UP campus in Quezon City on June 24.
Retail Aggregation Program is a scheme provided under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) wherein two or more electricity end-users within a contiguous area can join together to pool their demand and be treated as a single Contestable Customer, thereby enabling it to participate in Retail Competition and Open Access (RCOA).
The state university signified its intent to explore retail choice mechanisms to comply with the directive of the Inter-Agency Efficiency and Conservation Committee (IAECC) under the Government Energy Management Program (GEMP), to reduce the government’s monthly electricity consumption.
To provide UP Diliman what it needs to participate in the retail supply market and minimize incremental costs, Meralco proposed the use of meters with remote data collection capability and electronic tabulation of individual readings of buildings within the campus.
This pilot implementation, which will be done in phases, will cover all 149 customer accounts within the campus with a combined demand of 4.27 MW.
The university, according to UP President Atty. Danilo L. Concepcion, has been identifying the best strategies to achieve energy efficiency and conservation in the University. The retail aggregation pilot, he said “will lead to lower electricity consumption costs, more savings, and a more efficient means of measuring the campus’ electricity consumption.”
“For the entire university system, this is a way for us to fulfill our mandate to harness our resources, including our campuses and academic community, toward our quest for national development, by supporting the initiatives of our government agencies, our private sector, and our communities,” he said.
Meralco and UP Diliman initiated this pilot implementation to ensure the smooth and orderly participation of the university in RCOA, consistent with the detailed rules on retail aggregation recently approved by the ERC.
Meralco First Vice President and Head of Regulatory Management Office Atty. Jose Ronald V. Valles said: “True to Meralco’s commitment and mandate to provide excellent and tailor-fit services to our customers, we are delighted to be part of this pilot to explore ways of expanding customer choice through retail aggregation.”
“We would like to recognize the ERC for its instrumental role in this partnership, particularly by the promulgation of the necessary rules and regulations governing retail aggregation. Their guidance and oversight have shaped both this pilot implementation and retail aggregation for the rest of the country. Beyond retail aggregation, we are hopeful that this project will be the first of many initiatives where Meralco can work with the ERC and University of the Philippines to bring innovation and customer empowerment to our kababayans,” added Atty. Valles.
For her part, ERC Chairperson and CEO Atty. Agnes VST Devanadera said: “The ERC would like to thank the UP and Meralco for their initiative in making possible this pilot implementation. With their partnership, we hope that the electricity consumers will be more enlightened about the benefits of retail aggregation which ultimately is for the consumers to have the power to choose from among the electricity suppliers that offer better rates and better services.”
RCOA is a policy provided under EPIRA that allows electricity end-users classified by the ERC as a Contestable Customer to directly negotiate its power rates and enter into retail electricity supply contract with its preferred supplier.