CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – The Department of Energy on Monday said its decision to approve the application of the San Fernando Electric Light and Power Company (Sfelapco) for Emergency Power Supply Agreement (EPSA) spared residents of this city from experiencing a “dark Christmas season” last year.
During the hearing of the Senate Committee on Energy chaired by Sen. Raffy Tulfo, DOE Assistant Secretary Mario Marasigan revealed that Sfelapco was not a member of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) when it filed its application for EPSA with GN Power.
Sfelapco applied for EPSA with the DOE as its power supply agreement with AP Renewables Inc. (APRI) was set to expire last Dec. 25, 2022 after the Energy Regulatory Commission failed to act on its approval for 10 years.
“Isa po sa konsiderasyon na binigay ng DOE, which took us a lot of discussion is kung hindi sila direct member sa WESM at magte-terminate by December 25 iyong kanilang PSA, wala po silang mapagkukunan ng supply,” said Marasigan.
Marasigan said the DOE issued its six-month exemption on December 23, adding “Magpapasko pa naman po noon. Ayaw po naming mawalan ng supply ng kuryente sa San Fernando.”
The DOE said it has given Sfelapco a six-month exemption to enable the company to complete its competitive selection process (CSP) for its next power generator. “One way, we recognized within the said timeframe ituloy nila ang competitive selection process,” said Marasigan.
The ERC, for its part, said Sfelapco is now allowed to implement the current rates based on its latest EPSA since the power distribution firm already obtained a certificate of exemption from DOE.
“Magiging post-approval na lang si ERC sa pag-i-implement ng rates na iyon,” said Engr. Alvin Jones Ortega, ERC’s chief energy regulation officer.
Earlier, Jose Lazatin, Sfelapco’s senior vice president and general manager, maintained that the company’s decision to implement its pending power supply agreement is part of its commitment to provide stable and affordable power supply to its customers in the city.
Lazatin explained that SFELAPCO entered into the said power agreement with APRI on Dec. 5, 2012, and applied for its approval with the ERC on Jan. 2, 2013. However, the application hasn’t been acted upon by the ERC until now.
“Because of this, we were compelled to implement the new PSA. This, Honorable Chair, is still in adherence with the ERC Guidelines,” Lazatin told the Tulfo’s committee.
“We made this decision with the best interest of our consumers in mind who have benefitted from the lowest electricity rates in the area,” he added. Punto News Team/PR