‘JVA nothing to do with power rate hike’

Roel Castro, president and CEO of More Power, Vic Alvaro of NEA, and Ceneco acting general manager Arnel Lapore held a press conference on Tuesday, May 21.
Roel Castro, president and CEO of More Power, Vic Alvaro of NEA, and Ceneco acting general manager Arnel Lapore held a press conference on Tuesday, May 21. Teresa Ellera photo

The recent power rate increase on electricity bills imposed by Central Negeos Electric Cooperative this month has nothing to do with its joint venture agreement with Negros Electric and Power Corp. (NEPC).

This was clarified by Roel Castro, president and chief executive officer of More Power, and Ceneco general manager Arnel Lapore in a press conference on Tuesday, May 21.

The full implementation of the JVA is underway after the House of Representatives and the Senate passed the request of NEPC for a franchise to operate in areas being served by Ceneco.

Castro said they expect to start operating in one and a half to three months once the approved bill becomes law.

He and Lapore explained that the power rate increase is not only imposed by Ceneco but also by other distribution utilities in the country due to the effect of extreme heat brought by the El Niño phenomenon.

They also attributed the high electricity rates to the increase in power demand and outages of 13 power plants.

Castro said that the Ceneco high power rates have nothing to do with the JVA.

For May, the residential rate has increased to more than  P15/kilowatthour (kWh) compared to last month's P11/kWh.

Negros Occidental Electric Cooperative (Noceco) in southern Negros also announced an upward adjustment of P3.33 per kWh in its power rate, from P14.6309 in April to P17.9609 in May.*

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