Splitting of electric coops might ‘burden consumers’-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Friday, August 24, 2012
QUEZON CITY – A university official said the plan to split the Benguet Electric Cooperative (Beneco) into two is possible but technically challenging as it would increase the power rates and burden consumers.
University of the Philippines Diliman Professor Rowaldo del Mundo explained this to officers and directors of several electric cooperatives in the country during the Electric Power Industry Structure Market and Regulation training at the National Engineering Center here.
“It can be done but it would be challenging and expensive on the part of the new electric cooperative,” del Mundo said.
He said it would be technically challenging on the part of the new electric cooperative to mount infrastructure and assets.
He added that the division is also difficult for consumers, considering that the lesser the power load, the higher the fees.
Del Mundo suggested that cooperatives should instead merge by regions or at least cooperate to contract power supply not for existing power plants but for new capacities, such as mini-hydroelectric power plants that is a stable source of power in areas where it is feasible like Benguet.
He said if cooperatives would collaborate and achieve a unified performance rate, power rates would be cheaper and uniform per region. This model had already been started in the Visayas and will be implementation in Mindanao, where a power crisis exists.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 24, 2012.