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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, March 1, 2018
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TRAIN further hikes
Negros power rates


The Central Negros Electric Cooperative has imposed an additional 41 centavos per kilowatt hour in the billing of its consumers for Februarythat is partly due to the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.

Roel Venus, chief of the Ceneco Consumer Services Division, yesterday said their rate for February is P11.2868/kWh compared to January which was about P10.8746/kWh, or a difference of P0.41.

Under the law, the price of coal has increased by P50 per metric ton and the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines has been imposed a VAT of 12 percent for the first time, Leomel Tambanillo, head of Corporate Planning Department, said.

Tambanillo said it is not only coal-fired plants that have been affected by the implementation of the TRAIN law but also NGCP.

Power rates of the Northern Negros Electric Cooperative are also up by 0.6593 cents for February,while Negros Occidental Electric Cooperative has increased the overall electricity rate of its residential consumers by P0.642 per kWh.

Elinore Cabanilla, representative of Green Alert-Negros, said electric cooperatives in Negros should get their power supply from renewable energy sources like solar and geothermal plants. They should not get power from coal-fired power plant because of the health hazards it could produce.

Meanwhile, Ceneco filed an urgent motion in cases filed before ERC pertaining to the petition filed by the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) Corporation with ERC for rate adjustment.

Tambanillo said this involves the implementation of Generation Rate Adjustment Mechanism (GRAM) and Incremental Currency Exchange Rate Adjustment (ICERA) starting January billing period.

In June 2017, ERC issued a decision to implement the rate adjustment amounting to over P900 million covering January 2007 to April 2014, he said.

Tambanilo said the P900 million will be recovered from the consumers in 50 months and its impact on them will be about 52 centavos/kWh.

ERC deferred its September 2017 order due to some clarifications raised by the Private Electric Power Operators Association (PEPOA), he said.

But in December 2017, ERC issued an order for the resumption of collection. So after clarifying issues raised by PEPOA, ERC issued another order and part of it was for PSALM to conduct information dissemination to its consumers regarding the nature and mechanism for recovery of the subject charges, Tambanillo said.

So they filed an urgent motion because they deemed that the PSALM has not yet complied with the instruction of ERC for information dissemination, and because they want clarification on the method of recoveryprior to the implementation of the order, he said.

In its urgent motion, Ceneco also asked ERC to enjoin PSALM not to impose any penalties on them and not to consider them in arrears in so far as the subject assessment is concerned.*CGS


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