ELECTRIC consumers in Negros Occidental may incur lower bills this December as three power distribution utilities (DUs) have reduced their rates.

For the Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco), covering the largest number of electric consumers in the province, including cities of Bacolod, Bago, Talisay and Silay, and towns Murcia and Salvador Benedicto, there is a reduction of P1.2911 per kilowatt hour (kWh).

In December, the cooperative's power rate is P9.8362 per kWh, which is lower than its average power rate of P11.1273 last month.

Ceneco acting general manager Danny Pondevilla, in an advisory, said the reduction can be attributed to the decrease in generation, transmission, systems loss charges and other pass-through charges such as lifeline and senior and value added taxes (VAT).

Pondevilla said the pass-through charges are now at P8.6496 per kWh from P9.9407 per kWh hour last month.

While most of its charges have reduced, the DU's distribution, supply, metering and reinvestment fund for sustainable capital expenditure remained stable at P1.1866 per kWh, he added.

The Negros Occidental Electric Cooperative (Noceco), catering to consumers in the southern part of the province, from Pulupandan to Hinoba-an, reported a drop of almost P1.47 per kWh this month.

Its general manager Jonas Discaya said that from P8.999 last month, its current residential rate decreased to P7.4333 per kWh.

Discaya said the main driver of the lower electricity rate is the P1.1940 per kWh decrease in the generation charge, which moved from P4.3099 to P3.1159 per kWh.

Discaya said the decrease in generation charge is due to the reduction of the power cost at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (Wesm).

The current average price of Wesm is P2.1857 per kWh compared to the previous month cost of P3.1499 per kWh.

Descaya also said that the scheduled outage of Palm Concepcion Power Corporation (PCPC) in which the share of its power contracted by the cooperative was replaced by Wesm.

There is also a drop of P0.0367 per kWh in the Power Supply Agreement (PSA) with Kepco Salcon Power Corporation (KSPC).

Its current price is P5.8156 per kWh, lower than P 5.8522 per kWh last month.

Other factors that contributed to the overall reduction in power rate included systems loss which decreased by P0.1617 per kilowatt hour, subsidy rates with a decrease of P0.0066 per kilowatt hour, and VAT on generation that dropped by P0.1357 per kWh, he added.

Noceco reported that the overall residential electricity rates dropped despite the increase in transmission rate for residential consumers by P 0.0240 per kWh and VAT on transmission by P0.0074 per kWh.

The DU assured that its distribution, supply and metering charges remain unchanged despite the decrease in the overall electricity rate for this month.

The generation and transmission rates are pass-on charges paid to the respective power suppliers and the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).

Thus, the collected amounts on these charges are not retained by Noceco, it added.

For the remaining towns and cities in the north, from E.B. Magalona to San Carlos City, the power rate also dropped by P1.05 per kWh.

From the previous month rate of P10.1802 per kWh, the current rate of the Northern Negros Electric Cooperative (Noneco) is P8.9936 per kWh.

This is mainly attributed to the decrease in the cooperative's generation charge.