BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
The Bacolod Sangguniang Panlungsod is requesting the management and Board of Directors of Central Negros Electric Cooperative, Inc. to explain and clarify immediately the hefty increase per kilowatt hour (kWh) from its July to August billings.
The resolution said Section 23 of Republic Act 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA) and Section 4 (h) Rule 7 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the EPIRA provides that a distribution utility (DU) shall supply electricity in the least cost manner to its captive market within its franchise area, subject to collection of retail rates duly approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
It said there had been an increase in the per kilowatt hour rate by Ceneco estimated to more than 15 percent from its July to August billings.
The resolution was approved upon motion of Councilor Wilson Gamboa Jr. and jointly seconded by Councilors Archie Baribar and Dindo Ramos during the regular SP session Wednesday.
The Electric Cooperatives Association of Region 6 (ECAR), in a statement Thursday, said that electric cooperatives in Region VI are greatly affected by the high electricity market price which resulted in the increase of electricity rates from June to present among electricity consumers of electric cooperatives in the region composed of Ceneco, Northern Negros Electric Cooperative (Noneco), Negros Occidental Electric Cooperative (Noneco) and seven other power distribution utilities in the region – AKELCO, ANTECO, CAPELCO, GUIMELCO, ILECO I, ILECO II, ILECO III.
The association said the major factor that caused the spike of electricity rates for the month of August originated from the damaged submarine cable of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines connecting Cebu to Negros and Panay causing imbalances in the power requirement intended for Region VI electric cooperatives automatically taken and supplied from WESM (Wholesale Electricity Market).
As a whole, the generation charge of power generators triggered the increase of power rates because of its expensive price in the electricity market. While the DSM (distribution, supply and metering) charge of Region VI electric cooperatives remains the same and no changes at all. DSM charges are the only portion on the electricity bill collected by electric coops to sustain its services and operation, it said.*