THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) is confident that the suspended reserve market will soon resume normal commercial operations.

“There have been hiccups in the implementation of the reserve market, but we are confident that with the required information to be submitted to the ERC, we can resume normal operations soon,” ERC Chairperson Monalisa C. Dimalanta said during Tuesday’s BusinessWorld and Project KaLIKHAsan forum on Achieving Balance in the Philippine Energy System.

Last month, the ERC ordered the suspension of billing and settlement in the reserve market.

The suspension covers the March billing period, which will be lifted when the commission finalizes its evaluation of the price determination methods used by the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP), which will likely come in May.

The ERC had directed IEMOP and the Philippine Electricity Market Corp. to submit audit results of the software by April 15 “to identify and address” issues and immediately resume the market’s normal operations.

“Once that’s complete and we have no more requirements for them to submit, we can finalize the evaluation of the program,” Ms. Dimalanta said.

She said ERC has set a meeting with the Department of Energy next week.

“We’re all aligned that we need the reserve market to be operating, so I’m really confident that we’ll find a way, if there are some misalignments, to align the policy and the software and the regulation,” Ms. Dimalanta said.

“Because we really need to make it work to support the RE (renewable energy) ambitions of the country. So that’s where the confidence is coming from because we have a shared vision,” she added.

Meanwhile, Ms. Dimalanta said the ERC is hoping to complete the fourth regulatory reset of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines by the middle of the year.

The completion of the fifth regulatory reset is targeted by the end of 2024.

“In the same manner, we will complete the reset for the distribution sector. Not all at the same time because we have 141 distribution utilities, but for the bigger ones, starting this year we’ll start completing them,” Ms. Dimalanta said. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera