Higher power bills loom in 2016

by Danessa O. Rivera – December 24, 2015 – 12:00am

from The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Consumers may start paying higher electricity bills starting 2016 if the power regulator approves the application of the National Transmission Corp. (TransCo) for at least 10 centavos per kilowatt-hour (kwh) tariff for the renewable energy (RE) sector.

In a government filing, the state-owned transmission company is asking the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to approve the feed-in tariff allowance (FIT-All) of P0.1025 per kwh for 2016.

With the provisional authority, the state-run agency can enforce the rate adjustment while the petition is still being heard by the ERC.

Apart from a provisional authority, TransCo is also seeking for a permanent approval for the rate, “or in the alternative, such other amount as may be found by the Commission to be consistent with the FIT-All guidelines.”

The FIT-All is a uniform charge billed to all on-grid electricity consumers, reflected as a separate component in their monthly electricity bills.

Under the FIT-All guidelines, TransCo is designated as the administrator of the FIT Allowance Fund and is required to make an annual determination of the tariff.

TransCo is a government agency created under Republic Act 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001, which used to operate and manage the country’s power transmission system until it was bid out in 2008.

In October 2014, the ERC approved TransCo’s application for a P0.0406 per kwh FIT allowance charged to customers starting January 2015.

The FIT-All is part of the implementation of the Renewable Energy Law promulgated in 2008, which will serve as an incentive to RE developers to further pursue developments in the sector.