An infrastructure-oriented thinktank has lauded the Department of Energy to crack down on generating companies (gencos) profiting from price spikes in the electricity spot market during the string of yellow alerts over the Luzon grid.
“This move by the energy department is a welcome development to ensure that the public interest is protected during times of limited power supply," saod Terry L/ Ridon, Infrawatch PH convenor and former member of the House Committee on Energy.
The energy department recently said that it will release a list of gencos which may have gained financially from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).
Proactive action welcomed
“The crackdown on profiteering gencos is consistent to the resolve of President Rodrigo Duterte to make life comfortable for Filipinos.”
Ridon said unexpected price hikes due to unplanned outages should not be borne by consumers but by erring gencos.
“The public should not be made to pay for the inefficiencies and failures of generating companies. They should pay the higher costs in the spot market themselves.”
No repeat of 2013 spot market spikes
Ridon said the energy department should not stop at simply naming profiteering gencos, but also make them accountable through penalty proceedings, similar to what is now being undertaken in the water sector.
“The public will not be contented at simply knowing which gencos had profited. They would also want to know whether government can stop these gencos from passing on their profits to the public.”
Ridon said the bitter experience during the 2013 price spikes in the spot market should serve as a warning that government should not surrender its mandate in protecting the public.
“Profiteering gencos should be penalized, and rebates reflected in our monthly bills."