Ceneco asked to explain rate increase

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – The Central Negros Electric Cooperative was asked by the Sangguniang Panlungsod of this city to explain and clarify the increase in power rates in its July to August billings.

The SP made the inquiry through a resolution that cited Section 23 of Republic Act 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA) and Section 4 (h) Rule 7 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the EPIRA which provides that a distribution utility (DU) shall supply electricity in the least cost manner to its captive market within its franchise area, subject to collection of retail rates duly approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

The resolution also said there had been an increase in the per kilowatt-hour rate by Ceneco estimated at more than 15 percent in its July to August billings.

Earlier, the Electric Cooperatives Association of Region 6 (ECAR) said that electric cooperatives in Region VI are greatly affected by the high electricity market price which resulted in the increase of electricity rates from June to present among electricity consumers of electric cooperatives in the region composed of Ceneco,  Northern Negros Electric Cooperative (Noneco), Negros Occidental Electric Cooperative (Noneco) and seven other power distribution utilities  in the region – AKELCO, ANTECO, CAPELCO, GUIMELCO, ILECO I, ILECO II, ILECO III.

“The major factor that caused the spike of electricity rates for the month of August originated from the damaged submarine cable of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines connecting Cebu to Negros and Panay causing imbalances in the power requirement intended for Region VI electric cooperatives automatically taken and supplied from WESM (Wholesale Electricity Market),” the association said.

The generation charge of power generators triggered the increase of power rates because of its expensive price in the electricity market, the resolution also said.

It added that the DSM (distribution, supply and metering) charge of Region VI electric cooperatives remains the same and no changes at all.

DSM charges are the only portion on the electricity bill collected by electric coops to sustain its services and operation

The resolution was approved upon motion of Councilor Wilson Gamboa Jr. and jointly seconded by Councilors Archie Baribar and Dindo Ramos during the regular SP session Wednesday.