DESPITE the low price of oil in the world market, power rates in most of Metro Cebu have remained the same. An official of the Visayan Electric Co. (Veco) explained that the reason for this is the low fuel component in their energy mix.

Veco chief operating officer Sebastian Lacson, who made a presentation before members of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry last Friday, said that from their sources of energy last year, only two producers make use of fuel and that the fuel components of what they produce is “very minimal.”

Last year, they got 27 percent of their power from the Cebu Energy Development Corp. (CEDC) and four percent from the Cebu Private Power Corp. (CPPC). The CEDC had 28 percent fuel component while CPPC had 32 percent.

“This is why the elasticity of the generation rate to fuel is very minimal. Fuel is a small component of our generation mix,” Lacson said.

Last year, 29 percent of their energy came from Green Core Geothermal Inc., 30 percent from Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (Psalm) and 10 percent from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (Wesm).

Lacson said that should the price of oil rise once again, this would have a positive outcome for power consumers because they are protected from price fluctuations.

As for the recent power outages experienced the week before, Lacson assured that this was not related to the power concerns hounding Luzon. “That was a transmission issue and not related to supply.”

With the summer season about to start, concerns about the higher demand for power was raised. Lacson believes that any supply problems affecting Luzon could impact the Visayas, but “in a small way.”

He said there will be no major issues for Cebu and assured that having the interruptible load program (ILP) in place assures Cebu of 40 to 50 megawatts.

Lacson said they have been practicing this since 2009 and that Luzon has been trying to implement the same practice.

He also discouraged consumers from acquiring generator sets.