BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
Bacolod Councilor Wilson Gamboa Jr. yesterday said he will file a resolution asking Central Negros Electric Cooperative (CENECO) to provide the Sangguniang Panlungsod its computation table for electric generation charges and power systems losses for January to April.
He reiterated that the time has come when the consumers-members-owners (CMO) of CENECO will shoulder the price differential of the extended contract amount of P5.29/kWh against the Time of Use (TOU) rate of only P3.59/kWh or an aggregate amount of about P218 million which is to be paid by CENECO resulting from the disengagement of a 44-megawatt extension contract with KEPCO SPC Power Corporation (KSPC) effective April 26, and which was declared illegal by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
Gamboa said that the KSPC contract disengagement cannot be passed-on to CMOs and force CENECO management to obtain supply of power to its franchise area from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) pegged at a much higher price the lowest is at P7.00/kWh.
The lone opposition councilor stressed that with this move by CENECO, CMOs will suffer a much higher electricity cost and experience rotational “load-shedding” supply of electricity owing to the open market instability compared to a contracted supply with KSPC.
As early as 2021, ERC had ruled that subject KSPC-Power Supply Agreement (PSA) extension remained unapproved, therefore considered “ineligible contracts” and that CENECO must comply with the Competitive Selection Process (CSP) prescribed by the Department of Energy (DOE).
CENECO, however, insisted on extending Power Supply Agreement (PSA) at P5.42 per kWh with KSPC for one year, starting May 26, 2021, estimated to cost P368 million at that time for one year or a whooping P1 million a day burden for CENECO CMOs, only to be ruled out by ERC as illegal.
Gamboa added, “To cope with the 44-megawatt disengaged by KSPC, CENECO is forced to buy power from the open-spot market WESM at much higher prices from P7/kWh to about P12/kWh, causing the rates paid by CMOs at a very high unexpected amount. Thus, explained the sudden and continuous rising electric power billings for the past three months.”
He said that this deplorable sky-rocketing CENECO rate increase situation happening now prompted him to file a resolution for the next regular SP session on May 3, “Respectfully requesting the management of CENECO to provide the SP its computation table for the electric generation charges and power systems losses for the months of January to April 2022.”
Knowledge of CENECO computations will somehow assuage the afflictions suffered by CMOs at this time of the pandemic and so he will continue to push for the refund of this overpriced CENECO miscalculation, Gamboa added.*