Power rate drops instead

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

THE power rate of Central Negros Electric Cooperatives (Ceneco) will decrease in December, contrary to earlier announcement of board president Arnel Lapore, based on their latest computation.

"There is good news to the power consumers of Ceneco because instead of going up, the power rate this month has been lowered by 74 centavos per kilowatt hour,” Lapore said.

From P9.40 per kilowatt hour last month, the Ceneco rate for residential consumers this December will only be P8.66 per kilowatt hour.

Lapore said they arrived at the final computation after Ceneco received its bills from power generators on Friday.

He clarified that his statement published in Sun.Star Bacolod on Thursday, where he said that consumers should brace for a minimal power rate increase this month, was based on his projection only before the bills were received on Friday.

The decrease in rate, Lapore explained, is due to the reduction in generation charge because of the market intervention of the Wholesale Electricity spot Market (WESM) so that the power situation in the Visayas Grid would not be exposed to abuse after the devastation of super typhoon Yolanda.

Lapore added that the secured bilateral contracts of Ceneco with Kepco-Salcon Power Corp. and Green Core Geothermal Inc. also absorbed the limited power supply from the grid, which is one reason for the rate reduction that would be reflected in the December billing.

In Metro Manila, power utility Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) is set to increase its power rate by P3.50 per kilowatt hour, the highest power hike to date in the country.
The power rate increase is due to the maintenance shutdown of Malampaya natural gas facility plant in Palawan where Meralco's power suppliers get their fuel to produce electricity.

The development led the Makabayan bloc to call on Meralco consumers to join them in their protest against by shutting off their power from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday evening.

Bayan Muna party list Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate said the “power off” protest is to show that the end-users are not happy to the “single largest power hike” announced by Meralco.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on December 14, 2013.

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