DISTRIBUTION utility Visayan Electric Co. Inc. said it will not cut off electricity supply to households that consume up to 200 kilowatt-hours (kWh) a month even if they fail to pay their bills.
In a statement, Visayan Electric said this will cover the bills for October, November and December 2020.
This is in line with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) advisory issued on Oct. 29, 2020, which directed all distribution utilities to not implement any disconnection on account of non-payment of bills until Dec. 31, 2020 for customers with low energy consumption.
The ceiling is 200 kWh, which is twice the maximum lifeline consumption level approved by the ERC.
This means that customers who consume 201 kWh and higher can still face disconnection.
But they may avail themselves of the 30-day grace period for all payments falling due within the period of enhanced community quarantine and modified enhanced community quarantine without incurring interest, penalties and other charges.
Any unpaid balance after the lapse of the 30-day grace period shall be payable in three equal monthly installments without incurring interests, penalties and other charges.
The ERC advisory was issued to implement the provisions of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2.
All customers who availed themselves of or who qualified for the six-month installment payment option are also covered by the no-disconnection policy based on the ERC advisory dated May 22, 2020.
Visayan Electric, however, reiterated the ERC advice to those who can pay to settle their bills.
“As written in the ERC advisory, we encourage customers who have the capacity to pay to settle their accounts within the original due date to help manage the cash flow in the energy supply chain and to ensure continuous supply of electricity,’” Visayan Electric said.
The company said it will inform consumers about the implementation of the ERC advisory through bill inserts.
The ERC advisory said government offices, government agencies, government-owned and controlled corporations and other government instrumentalities are not covered by the 30-day grace period and installment option.
Independent power producers, suppliers, the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp., National Transmission Corp., National Grid Corp. of the Philippines and the market operator were also directed to extend the 30-day grace period, installment option and no-disconnection policy to distribution utilities, retail electricity suppliers and other customers. / JOB