By Rjay Zuriaga Castor
Electricity rates for residential consumers in Iloilo City went down for the ninth straight month in 2023.
MORE Electric and Power Corp. announced that the residential rate for the September 18 to October 14 billing cycle is at P10.7139 per kilowatt-hour (kWh).
This is a decrease of P0.2701 per kWh from P10.9840 per kWh in August. The rate in January this year was P14.1512.
Neil Parcon, Head of the Corporate Planning & Regulatory Affairs Department of MORE Power, said that the primary reason behind the decline in electricity rates is the reduced cost of coal, which is a major power generation source of the distribution utility.
“Nagnubo ang atun electricity rates primarily because of the reduction sang generating component sang aton bill, ang kuryente nga aton gina bakal sa aton power generators. Nagbarato ang ila presyo mainly because kay coal-fired plants ang dako ta nga supplier,” he told Daily Guardian.
Parcon explained that although the spot market price in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market increased to around 0.5 centavos, the drop in the price of coal contributed significantly to the decrease in electricity charges.
“Kung i-compare mo ni siya sa mga rates sang iban nga electric cooperatives, mga P1 or more ni siya nga lesser sang sa iban. Pararehos man lang kita ginabaklan, except nga ang aton nga presyo sang suppliers ta mas barato ang kuha ta compared ta sa ila,” he added.
MORE Power sources its electricity from the Korea Electric Power Corporation in Naga, Cebu and SEM-Calaca Power Corporation in Batangas.
In addition to the decrease in coal-related charges, Parcon highlighted that the reduction in generation costs was due to the inclusion of geothermal to the power supply mix made by Lopez-led Energy Development Corp.
Parcon said that although they cannot be sure that the electricity rates will further decrease, stabilized rates are expected with a minimal increase in the price of coal in the world market.
“Meyo ma stabilize na siguro kay ang coal subong daw medyo gapasaka gamay man lang,” he said.
He added that MORE Power is finding alternatives to reduce its dependence on coal but he pointed out that one challenge is the insufficient supply of renewable energy in Panay.
“Kulang ang aton renewable energy sa Panay. Wala kita di kuhaan subong. Ang mga planta nga ginapa construct subong like mga solar and geothermal medyo dugay pa na mag [function] so gapangita kita sina para magstable ang aton price,” he said.
Parcon assured its consumers that MORE Power remains committed to delivering reliable and affordable electricity services.
“I think we are the second lowest in the whole Visayas and Mindanao. Makasalig kamo nga we are doing everything nga makapabarato sang aton nga presyo sang kuryente,” he said.