RESIDENTIAL consumers in Negros Occidental may incur higher bills as three electric cooperatives in the province have announced an increase in their respective residential power rates this month.
The Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco), catering to the largest number of electric consumers in the province including cities of Bacolod, Bago, Talisay and Silay, and towns of Murcia and Salvador Benedicto, reported an increase of P1.1000 per kilowatt-hour (kWh).
From P10.4696 per kWh in January, it went up to P11.5696 per kWh in February.
Ceneco acting manager and project supervisor Atty. Danny Pondevilla, in an advisory, said the rate hike can be attributed to the increase in generation, transmission, systems loss and other pass-through charges such as lifeline, senior citizen and value-added tax (VAT).
Pondevilla said part of the increase is the fuel cost for both Kepco Salcon Power Corp. (KSPC) and Palm Concepcion Power Corp. (PCPC) totaling P0.4474 per kWh.
“The tariff rate of Green Core Geothermal Inc. (GCGI) also increased by P0.1113 per kWh due to its annual escalation factor,” he added.
For the month of February, the pass-through charges are equivalent to P10.3830 per kWh comprising the bulk of the total power rate.
These include generation, transmission, Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC)- approved adjustments, government subsidies and taxes.
Only P1.1866 per kWh of the power rate goes to the cooperative through Distribution, Supply, Metering (DSM) Charges and Reinvestment Fund for Sustainable Capex (RFSC) for its administrative and operational services.
The advisory stated that in monitoring the monthly electricity usage, consumers are advised to look at their kilowatt-hour consumption and not the amount which may vary depending on the pass-through charges.
Ceneco Board and management continue to remind its consumers to conserve energy to avoid paying higher electricity bills, it added.
For Northern Negros Electric Cooperative (Noneco), it has an increase of P0.7151 per kWh for February.
The power distribution utility caters to the northern portion of the province, from E.B. Magalona to San Carlos City.
Anthony Lagrada, corporate planning manager of Noneco, said the cooperative’s residential power rate this month is P10.3314 per kWh.
This is higher than P9.6163 per kWh in January.
Lagrada said the upward movement is due to the increase in the price of power from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).
“There’s also an increase of power rates charged by the contracted power suppliers of Noneco such as KSPC, PCPC and GCGI,” he said, adding that another factor is the increase in ancillary service charge by the National Grid Corp. Of the Philippines (NGCP).
For the remaining cities and towns in the south, from Pulupandan to Hinoba-an, the Negros Occidental Electric Cooperative (Noceco) announced an increase of P0.7574 per kWh.
Noceco general manager Jonas Discaya, in an advisory, said the main driver of the higher electricity rate this month is the P0.5814 per kWh increase in the generation charge which moved from P4.1374 to P4.7188per kWh.
The higher cost of generation charge is due to the increase of P1.0239 per kWh from WESM, price increase of P0.2022 per kWh in the power supply agreement (PSA) with KSPC, and another price increase of P0.1429 per kWh with another supplier.
Other factors that contributed to the overall hike in rates are increases in system loss rate - P0.0790 per kWh; subsidy rates - P0.0052 per kWh; VAT on generation - P0.0584 per kWh; transmission rate for residential customers - P0.0246 per kWh; and VAT on transmission - P0.0088 per kWh.
Discaya said the distribution, supply and metering charges remain unchanged despite the increase in the overall electricity rate for this month.
"Member-consumers are advised to conserve energy and to be aware of their energy consumption to avoid paying high electricity bill,” he said, stressing that generation and transmission rates are pass-on charges paid to the respective power suppliers and NGCP, thus, the collected amounts on these charges are not retained by the cooperative.