One-time billing for power consumption payments urged

One-time billing for power consumption payments urged
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A DAVAO City Councilor suggested that the billing of Dabawenyos for their power consumption be a one-time lump sum rather than a staggered payment, as announced by Davao Light and Power Company (Davao Light).

Councilor Louie John J. Bonguyan, in a media interview on Tuesday morning, June 25, 2024, at the Sangguniang Panlungsod, stated that Davao Light should not implement staggered payments, so billing for customers return to normal from July to September.

“Lisod karon, baba ta for June, when it comes to July to September banatan na pud ta naa tay P1.20 cents on top of generation charge, which will fall into P10 to P11 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) so dako gihapon (This is difficult because our bills are down for June, but from July to September, we’ll see an increase of P1.20 on top of the generation charge, which will bring it to P10 to P11 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), which is still high),” he said.

Bonguyan, who chairs the energy and water committee, said they have requested the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) through Davao Light to explore consolidating the June payment into a lump sum.

In a separate interview, Roger Velasco, chief operations officer of Davao Light, said that they have submitted a letter to the ERC informing them of the lower rates for June but expect an increase in the generation charge in the following months.

Previously, Bonguyan had requested Davao Light to explain the potential increase in power rates during the 20th City Council session on June 18, 2024. 

During the session, Velasco explained that there would be an increase in generation rates from June to September due to power sourced from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), following reduced operations of hydropower plants due to the El Niño phenomenon.

Initially, there was supposed to be an increase due to higher consumption and more expensive sources. However, with the ERC Order Case Number 2024-017 mandating staggered collection of generation charges from the May billing of the WESM, rates decreased from P10.76 kWh in May to P7.94 in June.

However, Velasco said that due to the staggered payments, higher billings will be experienced from July to September.

“Just to manage the expectations of the council, because of staggered payments, there is an added P1 on top of generation charge for the succeeding three months,” he said. 

With the rate increase of P1 per kWh, Davao Light still cannot provide the exact generation per month since the power supplier has yet to provide a bill. RGP

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