THE Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco) should follow the order of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to defer the collection of various “recovery charges” totaling about P853 million, its top official said.

Ceneco president Roy Cordova cited the ERC decision issued October 19, 2017, deferring the implementation of its previous order dated June 20, 2017 approving the refund scheme of the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (Psalm).

The recovery which Psalm has sought to include is the 10th to 17th Generation Rate Adjustment Mechanism (Gram), 15th to 16th Incremental Currency Exchange Rate Adjustment (Icera), and 1st to 5th Automatic Cost Recovery Mechanism (ACRM) True-up Adjustment.

It will result to about P0.22 per kilowatt hour (kWh), which Ceneco will collect from its member-consumers within the recovery period of 60 months as earlier mandated by the ERC.

The order further stated that “in a meeting held on 19 October 2017, the Commission undertakes to resolve the issue raised by Private Electric Power Operators Association (Pepoa) and rule on Psalm’s compliance after due evaluation. Pending the said evaluation, the Commission hereby resolves to defer (the) implementation of the said order and decision dated 20 June 2017 to January 2018 billing.”

The order signed by ERC Commissioner Josefina Patrcia Magpale-Asirit also stated that “Psalm is hereby directed to inform all concerned parties of the said deferment and to further conduct information dissemination regarding the nature and mechanism for recovery of the subject charges.”

On October 30, Cordova wrote Ceneco general manager Sulpicio Lagarde Jr. asking the latter to implement as soon as possible the October 19 order of the ERC.

“Corresponding Ceneco rate to its consumers shall be adjusted accordingly,” Cordova said, adding that “considering that the said order was issued after the computation of the October 2017 rate, it is appropriate that consumers shall be refunded thereafter.”

Ceneco, which caters to electric consumers in cities of Bacolod, Bago, Talisay and Silay and towns of Murcia and Salvador Benedicto, has increased its power rate by P1.02 per kWh last month.

From P10.0130 per kWh in September, the rate rose to P11.0280 per kWh in October.

Aside from generation, transmission and systems loss charges, the increase also comprised the P0.2220 per kWh in various “recovery charges.”

Cordova said the matter will be discussed by the Ceneco Board during its regular meeting today.

Like the P232 million “unnominated contract quantities” with Kepco-Salcon Power Corp., Cordova said he is optimistic that the collegial body will again support his move to defer the collection of P853 million worth of adjustments.

“Once approved by the Board, we will push that the management will refund consumers by making necessary adjustments in their November bills,” he said, adding that “as a representative of the consumers, we will work for their interests.”