Respond to FiT-All petition, TransCo told

By Jordeene B. Lagare – January 16, 2020
from The Manila Times

THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has ordered state-run National Transmission Corp. (TransCo) to respond to a petition seeking to dismiss feed-in tariff allowance (FiT-All) applications for 2019 and 2020.

In its order dated Jan. 7, 2020, the ERC directed TransCo to file its comment on Laban Konsyumer Inc.’s (LKI) motion within 10 days from the receipt of the order.

Last December, the consumer group filed an urgent omnibus notion to have the 2019 and 2020 FiT-All rate applications dismissed, reduce the FiT-All rate to P0.1875 per kilowatt hour (kWh), and give a rebate of interests earned on the P6.54-billion surplus as of end-2019.

Earlier, LKI explained that TransCo figures show FiT-All rate should be reduced by 2 centavos per kWh.

“We are encouraged by this copy showing that [the] ERC is instructing TransCo to immediately comment on our motion. We are pleased to hear that [the] ERC considered our motion to put a stop to the continued increased rates by TransCo’s imposition of FiT-All which in turn forces poor consumers to pay higher electricity rates,” LKI President Victorio Mario Dimagiba said in a statement.

The group said there is no need for the 2019 FiT-All rate and this year’s FiT-All rate should decrease by 2 centavos.

“With the foregoing numbers that we saw, the updated 2020 FiT-All rate should be reduced by P0.0295 per kWh or will become P0.1983 from the FiT-All rate application of TransCo of P0.2278 per kWh, assuming the current FiT-All rate of P0.2226 per kWh will prevail until the end of the 2019 billing month,” Dimagiba added.

It also seeking that the new FiT-All rate “considering that various factors at the time of the application have already been varied.”

Taking into consideration that all other factors/variables are constant and if the regulator decides not to raise the FiT-All rate by P0.2278 per kWh and maintain P0.2226 per kWh approved in 2018, LKI claimed TransCo can still manage to settle all its obligations with FiT-eligible renewable energy (RE) developers.

FiT-All, whose fund is administered by TransCo, is a uniform charge payable by all electricity users that is computed and set annually. Proceeds from the FiT-All collection are paid to RE developers.

Distribution utilities, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines, and retail electricity suppliers serve as collecting agents.

The FiT program is outlined in Republic Act 9513, or the “Renewable Energy Act of 2008,” which aims to accelerate the development of RE sources. It pertains to electricity produced from wind, solar, ocean, run-of-river hydropower, and biomass.