THE Department of Energy (DOE) will solicit comments from the public on three proposed policies that will further strengthen its mandate to prepare plans and programs relative to energy exploration, development, utilization, distribution and conservation.
The DOE-Electric Power Industry Management Bureau (DOE-Epimb) intends to issue three new policies concerning the power sector.
First is a policy prescribing a uniform monthly electricity bill format for the captive market of distribution utilities (DUs) to ensure greater transparency and public awareness.
The proposed policy calls for further transparency in the electricity bills of DUs by providing a breakdown of the transmission charge to include delivery and ancillary service charges, and itemized systems loss to identify technical and nontechnical losses.
It also entails the adoption by all DUs of a uniform bill format, which can be easily understood by electricity end-users. The new bill format will reflect the status of bill deposits being charged by the DUs to the consumers, giving them updates on the principal and the interest earned.
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) will also provide the necessary regulatory issuances for the implementation of the said proposed policy within 60 days.
The second policy proposal prescribes the rules governing the review and evaluation of direct connection applications by industrial, commercial and other qualified electricity end-users, as well as ecozone enterprises.
This provides a transparent procedure on how the DOE will exercise its function to review and evaluate applications for direct connection of end-users and economic zone enterprises to the grid.
Applications for direct connections were previously being filed with the ERC until the Supreme Court declared that the direct supply of electricity is not within the ERC’s jurisdiction to resolve, but falls within the purview of the DOE.
Currently, the ERC endorses to the DOE all previously filed applications for direct connections.
The third policy is for the efficient transition of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) to the Independent Market Operator (IMO) regime.
The draft Department Circular on IMO Governance Arrangements primarily stipulates additional guidance and operational safeguards for the WESM under the IMO to ensure transparency, competitiveness, the protection of public interest, as well as the integrity of the WESM.
The DOE-Epimb has already conducted a public consultation on three proposed policies last Monday.
More than 150 participants attended the event, including representatives from the House Committee on Energy, National Electrification Administration, National Grid Corp. of the Philippines, Philippine Electricity Market Corp., Philippine Competition Commission, Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp., generation companies, distribution utilities, electric cooperatives, retail electricity suppliers, direct customers, local government units of Bulacan and Ilocos Sur, academe and consumer group Citizen Watch.
The agency has scheduled a wider stakeholder involvement. “The DOE will accept the public’s comments and suggestions on these proposed policies: Until June 15, 2018, for the Independent IMO Governance Arrangements; and June 30, 2018, for both the Uniform Electricity Bill Format and the Direct Connection Guidelines.”
Meanwhile, The DOE-Energy Utilization Management Bureau (DOE-EUMB) conducted its first inspection of donated hybrid vehicles in Region 8 in Palo, Leyte.
A total of 45 units of hybrid vehicles was given to the Philippine National Police Region 8 for use as patrol cars. The donation forms part of the Japanese government’s support for the economic and social development of communities devastated by Supertyphoon Yolanda.
The donation supports the DOE’s program to promote the use of efficient and environment-friendly Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFVs) such as electric vehicles.
Eight hybrid cars were also given to the local government offices: the Departments of Environment and Natural Resources, Trade and Industry and Science and Technology, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Information Agency, Land Transportation Office and the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
The hybrid car donation is under the JPY500 Million Japan Non-Project Grant Aid to the Philippines for the procurement and delivery of next-generation vehicles. The beneficiaries will be assisting the DOE in research, performance testing and promotion activities for the local adoption of AFVs.