BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
The Negros Occidental Electric Cooperative announced the possibility of power rate increase this month.
In an advisory it issued, Noceco said the increase is triggered by the occurrence of tight power supply condition, or shortage of electricity.
It said the shortage causes adjustments in the prices of electricity in the spot market where Noceco is getting its supply.
The hot temperature resulted in the hike of the energy consumption of consumers and causes the power plants that use expensive fuels to continuously supply power to the electric firm, and this triggers the increase in the generation cost, Noceco said.
The firm is asking consumers to minimize use of electricity and be mindful of their consumption to avoid increases in their power bills.
The current power rate of Noceco, that services the areas from Valladolid town to Hinoba-an town is still at P9.99 per kilowatt-hour.
Meanwhile, former Negros Occidental Governor Lito Coscolluela, who is now the provincial consultant for energy and environmental affairs, said that he is bringing up the issue on the agreement between Kepco-Salcon Power Corporation and the Central Negros Electric Cooperative to the attention of Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson.
Coscolluela, who attended the virtual hearing of the Bacolod Sangguniang Panlungsod Committee on Energy, led by Councilor Archie Baribar, Tuesday said the P3.29 per kWh bid submitted by Kepco for the base load power supply for the next 10 years appears to be favorable to the consumers but it actually contains several negative aspects and should be rejected.
If pursued, he said the contracted years will force Ceneco consumers to accept a source of power that is “unreliable” and has an unsteady price.
Coscolluela said it is understandable why Ceneco extended its current contract with Kepco since they were constrained from making a selection because the Third Party Bids and Awards Committee awarded the contract to Kepco, that was the lowest bidder during the competitive selection process.
Ceneco acting general manager, Danny Pondevilla, said that if the coop rejected the offer of Kepco, it would have to resort to another bidding process, which is why it sent a letter to the Department of Energy asking if they will have the authority to evaluate the bid and to decide accordingly, on which, Ceneco could have decided on the P3.21 kWh offer of the Energy Development Corp.
Coscolluela said the one-year extension of the current contract of Kepco and Ceneco for the delivery of the base load power supply for P5.26 per kilowatt hour is better for the meantime until a source of renewable energy will be available, through another bidding, rather than pursue a new contract with Kepco for the next 10 years.*