A Balanced Energy Future

The recent announcement by Central Negros Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Ceneco) general manager Atty. Arnel Lapore of a significant reduction in the electric rate for June 2024 is a welcome relief for many.

With the new rate set at Php12.7632/kWh, down from last month’s Php15.1632/kWh, consumers in Bacolod City and surrounding areas can expect some financial respite.

The decrease follows the implementation of the Power Supply Agreement (PSA) between Ceneco and the Energy Development Corporation (EDC), a move that underscores the importance of a healthy mix of power sources for cooperatives, particularly those serving largely impoverished communities.

The introduction of 20 MW of base load power from EDC to Ceneco’s supply portfolio is not just a technical upgrade; it is a strategic maneuver towards energy stability and affordability.

By reducing reliance on the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), where prices are notoriously volatile, Ceneco is taking a significant step towards shielding its consumers from unpredictable energy costs. This proactive approach is essential, especially in areas where many consumers are already struggling to make ends meet.

However, while the immediate benefits of reduced rates are clear, it is crucial to consider the broader context of energy sourcing. The future of energy for Ceneco—and indeed, for the Philippines—lies in a diversified and sustainable mix that includes substantial contributions from renewable energy (RE) sources.

Renewable energy not only offers a path to cleaner and more sustainable power but also promises long-term economic stability and resilience against global energy market fluctuations.

A transition to renewable energy must be just and equitable. For Ceneco consumers, many of whom are economically disadvantaged, the shift to renewables should not come at an increased cost.

Instead, it should be facilitated in a way that provides affordable, reliable, and clean energy. This requires thoughtful planning and robust support from both local and national governments.

Ceneco’s recent achievements in securing a stable and affordable power supply through its agreement with EDC are significant milestones.

The proactive measures taken by Ceneco and local government officials to secure affordable power rates demonstrate a commitment to consumer welfare.

Yet, as we move forward, it is crucial to maintain this momentum and continue advocating for policies that support a diverse and sustainable energy mix. This includes further investments in renewable energy infrastructure, enhanced regulatory frameworks to encourage private sector participation in the RE sector, and continuous public awareness campaigns on energy conservation.

The decrease in power rates is a temporary relief that must be built upon with long-term strategies. Encouraging energy-saving practices among consumers is a start, but the broader vision must include significant investments in renewable energy infrastructure and technology. This will not only help stabilize power rates but also contribute to the global fight against climate change.

In conclusion, the integration of renewable energy into the power supply mix is not merely an option but a necessity for a sustainable future. For cooperatives like Ceneco, serving vulnerable populations, the shift to renewable energy must be managed with a focus on fairness and inclusivity.

By embracing a balanced energy strategy that prioritizes renewables, we can ensure a more stable, affordable, and environmentally friendly power supply for all.


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