By Rjay Zuriaga Castor
MORE Electric and Power Corporation (MORE Power), the electric distribution utility of Iloilo City, announced that Ilonggos consumers are set to enjoy another reduced electricity rate in the November 18 to December 14 billing cycle.
MORE Power will implement a P2.7644/kWh rate reduction in compliance with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Resolution No. 14, series of 2022, which introduced updated regulations on automatic cost adjustment, true-up mechanisms, and the corresponding confirmation process for distribution utilities.
“Since the reduction is P2.7644/kWh, and our average household is around P300/kWh, that would be around P828, which is already a substantial amount,” explained Rafael Dorilag, MORE Power Energy Sourcing Manager.
The electricity rate for residential houses in October this year was P10.5549/kWh.
Dorilag said that the one-time refund of pass-through charges will be applicable across all customer rate categories: residential, commercial, industrial, and government accounts.
He added that the refund would not have a specific line item in the consumer’s electric bill but would be reflected and charged in the pass-through charges items.
Pass-through charges encompass the generation charge (payment for the supply of electricity), transmission charge (payment for the use of the high voltage transmission grid), and other subsidies and mandatory payments, such as lifeline and senior citizen subsidies, and systems loss (cost-recovery of power lost during the delivery of electricity).
Dorilag mentioned that the refund was identified using the accumulated differences in the billed amounts from March to November this year.
“The ERC has its formula for computing electricity rates, and the refund is based on our power bills in the previous months […] Since there is a continuous reduction in our rates, the ERC uses a true-up mechanism considering that the cost of the generation charge is on a downward trend,” he explained.
Iloilo City’s electricity costs have seen a consistent reduction for ten consecutive months this year.
“In the ERC resolution, as we breached a certain level like 10 percent, we are mandated to return it to the customers through a one-time refund,” he added.
The ERC’s revised rules in the resolution aim to prevent power distributors from benefiting unduly from rates, ensuring that prices remain “fair and reasonable.”
MORE Power clarified that regular rates will resume in the next billing cycle.
While there might be an increase in the January billing, the distribution utility stated that the change would not be significant, citing coal and geothermal as two of their major suppliers for power generation.