THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said it will work with power plant operators to clear a backlog in applications from the industry to undertake capital investments to upgrade their operations.

In a statement on Thursday, the ERC said it will work with the Private Electric Power Operators Association (PEPOA) to reduce application delays. The industry must seek permission from the ERC to undertake capital expenditures (capex).

The ERC must also clear all power supply agreement, under the authority granted it by Republic Act No. 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act. 

In a Viber message on Thursday, Floresinda Baldo G. Digal, an ERC commissioner, told BusinessWorld that distribution utility cases before the commission totaled 309, of which 80 were capex applications.

The ERC added that it has also discussed with PEPOA the rate reset process under performance-based regulation.

Last month, during a Senate Committee on Energy hearing, Senator Rafael T. Tulfo blamed slow ERC approvals for capex applications for recurring power outages in provinces.

ERC Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer Monalisa C. Dimalanta has said that the ERC is trying to clear its application backlog.

The ERC has 270 calendar days to act on valid applications filed with the energy virtual one-stop shop, which was establish by the Department of Energy to streamline the permit process for energy projects. — Ashley Erika O. Jose