Ceneco consumers to see lower rates

By Glazyl Y. Masculino and Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD CITY – Consumers can expect lower power rates this month after the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) approved the power supply agreement (PSA) between the Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco) and the Energy Development Corporation (EDC).

In a statement dated May 31, 2024, and posted on Facebook, the ERC informed Ceneco of their interim approval for the PSA with EDC.

This decision follows the strong clamor of consumers and a request by Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez for the ERC to address the high power rates in recent months.

According to Ceneco Acting General Manager Atty. Arnel Lapore, consumers can expect at least a P1.50 decrease in power rates.

Lapore told Daily Guardian on Sunday that the reduction might not be felt immediately, as Ceneco is still processing the necessary documents for the PSA with EDC and has informed EDC of the ERC approval.

The ERC’s statement announced their interim approval for the PSA with EDC, effective May 30, 2024. According to a Notice of Resolution dated May 29, 2024, the ERC granted interim relief for EDC to supply power to Ceneco at a rate of PHP 5.5657 per kilowatt hour (kWh).

The ERC’s approval is expected to lower Ceneco’s generation rate amidst high electricity prices in the province and reduce its dependence on the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), where the cooperative sources nearly 74% of its supply.

The approval also requires EDC to provide replacement power to Ceneco.

The ERC noted that the final generation cost that EDC can charge remains subject to review.

If the final approved rate is lower than the provisional rate, EDC must refund the difference to Ceneco, which will then credit it to consumers’ electric bills.

Both Mayor Benitez and Acting Governor Jeffrey Ferrer have urged the ERC to approve provisional authority for Ceneco to implement the PSA.

Vice Governor Ferrer emphasized the importance of reliable electricity for residents and businesses, given the current state of energy supply and economic conditions in the province.

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