Bidding Scheme Expected to Lower Electricity Rates

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Byline: MARS W. MOSQUEDA JR.

CEBU CITY Power consumers in the Visayas are expected to benefit from the electricity bidding scheme to be implemented by the Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC) late this year.

PEMC president Lasse Holopainen said that under the scheme called "wholesale electricity spot market" (WESM), the distribution utilities (like Meralco) and direct costumers can choose and buy the cheapest electricity from the different independent power producers (IPP).

Under the scheme, the IPP and the distribution utilities will submit hourly offers and demand bids, stating the price and quantity of electricity they are willing to trade.

Consumers can then choose from among the different IPPs that offer the cheapest and quality goods, Holopainen said.

"If the distribution utility or electric cooperative buys expensive power, the consumer can question the decision," he said.

Under WESM, the prices of electricity will not be regulated, but the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) will approve a price-determination methodology and market fees.

"Distribution utilities and electric cooperatives in their capacity as buyers will be able to choose where to buy. …