MANILA, Philippines - The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) has filed an application with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to put up a Local Retail Electricity Supplier or Local RES which will be operational at the commencement of the open access and retail competition (OARC) market in Luzon and the Visayas. Meralco chief operating officer Oscar Reyes said this is in response to an ERC resolution declaring “Dec. 26, 2011 as the open access date to mark the commencement of the competitive retail electricity market in Luzon and Visayas.” “Meralco will establish its own local RES to provide contestable customers the power of choice in their electricity provider while continuing to experience the full services of Meralco,” Reyes said. “Under open access, contestable customers may now choose their electricity service provider while Meralco will continue to be the networks and metering service provider. “As a distribution utility who has served its customers for many years or even decades, Meralco values the relationship it has established with them in the same way that they may value such. Given that, we feel that we owe it to our customers to continue giving them the option for full service that we’ve provided for years,” Reyes said. Reyes added that with the power of choice that customers will be accorded with the commencement of open access, he is hoping that their customers will consider Meralco as an option among other service providers. “We hope that our customers will continue to source their power needs from us, along with a range of other services that we provide,”Reyes said. “Meralco will have a very competitive electricity supply portfolio sourced from existing generating plants and from new highly efficient baseload, mid-merit and peaking power plants the company’s power generation subsidiary is putting up to meet customer requirements. Meralco remains committed to its existing long time customers and new customers, to offer a wide range of valued products and services as a total solutions company,” Reyes explained. The open access and retail competition market will introduce competition in the retail supply segment of the electric power industry. This means that electricity end-users with an average monthly peak demand of one megawatt for the 12 months preceding Dec. 26, 2011 will now have a choice from whom to procure their electricity service. Through OARC, RES’s can tailor their supply packages to provide customers with the best value based on their power consumption profile and other preferences. According to the EPIRA, the introduction of OARC will be gradual, starting first with end-users with a 12-month average demand of at least one MW. The coverage shall be expanded after two years to customers with a 750 kW individual or aggregated demand.