Higher electricity bills seen as ERC lifts FIT-All collection suspension

Electricity consumers might expect slightly higher bills starting next month after the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) lifted the suspension of Feed-in Tariff Allowance (FIT-All) collection, which has been in place since November 2022.

In a statement on Thursday, the ERC said it issued a resolution, dated Jan. 16, 2024, lifting the suspension on the collection of FIT-All, beginning the billing month of February.

The FIT-All is a uniform charge imposed on all on-grid electricity consumers, and is a component of the electricity bill, that ensures the development and promotion of renewable energy (RE) in the country.

The prevailing FIT-All rate is P0.0364 per kWh.

The lifting of the suspension of FIT-All collection would mean an additional of P0.0364 per kWh, which could translate to an increment of about P7.28 in the monthly bills of typical households consuming 200 kilowatt-hours.

The ERC said the lifting of the suspension was “due to the looming deficit in the projected FIT-All Fund.”

Distribution utilities (DUs), the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), and retail electricity suppliers (RES) serve as collecting agents of FIT-All and remit it to the FIT-All Fund, administered by the TransCo.

The FIT-All Fund covers payments to renewable energy developers under the FIT-All mechanism, aimed at spurring the development of emerging renewable power sources such as wind, solar, run-of-river hydro, and biomass facilities.

The first time that the FIT-All collection was suspended was in November 2022, covering December 2022 to February 2023 to ease the burden of consumers amid high inflation.

It was extended until August 2023 and was further extended indefinitely.

The ERC said the extension of FIT-All collection suspension was in consideration of “the healthy state of the FIT-All Fund and to alleviate the burden of Filipinos amid the rising costs of electricity in 2022.”

However, the power industry regulator said it reevaluated the balance of the FIT-All Fund as of Jan. 5, 2024 and “found that the projected FIT-All Fund would be in deficit in the February 2024 customer monthly billing.”

“In view of this, the Commission resolved to approve and adopt the lifting of the suspension and to resume the collection of the FIT-All charges,” the ERC said. (GMA Integrated News)