June power rate hike due to El NIño impact

Davao Light photo
Davao Light photo

A REPRESENTATIVE from the Davao Light and Power Company (DLPC) has announced an upcoming increase in electricity rates for June due to the El Niño phenomenon affecting hydro plants and high rates from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).

Fermin Edillion, head of the Reputation Enhancement Department at DLPC, stated in a media interview on Friday, June 14, 2024, at NCCC Victoria, that the exact rate increase will be confirmed by the company this week.

“But again dili pako kahatag sa inyuha sa amount karung orasa it’s because wala paman ning gawas atoang rates for June (But again, I cannot give you the amount this time because the June rates haven't been released yet),” he said.

He said that the new rates will be reflected in the June 15 billing. However, he hopes that by next month, electricity rates will normalize as the hydro plants' generating capacity returns with the rainy season.

Due to the El Niño phenomenon, there has been an increased demand for electricity. In April, DLPC recorded its highest peak demand in history at 542 megawatts (MW), with average demand ranging from 400 to 511 MW.

The demand originated from all of DLPC's franchises in Davao City, Panabo City, and the municipalities of Davao del Norte, including Carmen, Braulio E. Dujali, and Sto. Tomas, comprising about 480,000 customers.

Edillion assured that DLPC has a sufficient electricity supply, unlike Luzon and Visayas, which are facing issues. He explained that although there is a stable supply, it is more costly due to increased demand. He assured that even with the increase, DLPC's rates remain among the lowest in Mindanao.

In January, the rate was P8.81 per kilowatt-hour; by February, it increased to P9.25. It then decreased to P8.89 in March, increased again to P9.13 in April, and spiked to P10.76 in May.

“Kung summer months normal ra gyud musaka ang demand, normal pod na siya sa summer months na ang kining capacity sa hydro muubos pero karun medyo grabe tungod sa impact sa El Niño (It is normal for the demand to increase during summer months; it is also normal for the capacity of our hydro plants to decrease, but with the impact of the El Niño phenomenon, it is quite severe),” he said.

He advised customers to conserve energy and has posted tips on their Facebook page on how to reduce energy consumption. RGP

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