Electric coops in Visayas hike rates in May

Posted by watchmen
May 16, 2024


Consumers in many areas in the Visayas may be in for a bill shock as several electric cooperatives implement power rate hikes.

Based on the data gathered by the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives (Philreca), many of the areas affected by the series of yellow and red alerts last April were cooperatives in Western Visayas.

Topping the list in Western Visayas is Ileco 3 in Iloilo, with an increase of P3.53 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), followed by Noceco or North Negros Electric Cooperative, with an increase of P3.33 per kwh for this month’s billing.

Other areas in Region 6 have implemented a P0.33 to P1.79 per kwh hike.

For Luzon, Region 1 was the most affected, with increases averaging around P0.70 per kwh.

Philreca Executive Director Atty. Janeene Colingan said the main reason for the rate spike is the exposure of electric coops to the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) where power prices rose during the yellow and red alerts on the grid last April.

Colingan said distressed coops can borrow money from Land Bank, so they can stagger the collection of the big increase from customers and still be able to pay their suppliers.

Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Chairperson Monalisa Dimalanta said these coops can also opt to contract power supplies earlier instead of getting supply from WESM, where there can be big price swings.


ERC allows recovery of reserve market players

In another development, which will likely further increase electricity bills, the ERC has allowed a 30 percent recovery of the cost of power generators in the reserve market to allow them to continue providing reserve electricity.

The ERC earlier suspended price settlements of players in the reserve market after the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines’ ancillary charges shot up, pushing electricity bills up.

The ERC allowed a partial lifting, which means that of the P5.7 billion to be passed on to consumers, P1.7 billion will be allowed, which would translate to an increase of around P0.20 to P0.50 per kwh depending on which area needs more reserve power. (ABS-CBN News)

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