TransCo to seek power rate hike

By Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 30 2014 04:02 PM | Updated as of Jul 31 2014 12:04 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) will ask the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to charge consumers P0.04 per kilowatt hour more for the payment of electricity coming from renewable sources of energy.

While the petition has yet to be filed before the ERC, TransCo has already published the information as a requirement by the ERC.

With a projected consumption of over 64 billion kilowatt hours from 2014 to 2016, multiplied by the P0.04/kwh it is seeking approval from the ERC, the amount that can be collected from all consumers will reach over P2.5 billion.

But the ERC said the commission is not likely to approve the P0.04/kwh petition, in case it is filed this week.

For one, there are only a handful of renewable energy that has been put up so far. Under the rules of ERC, each source of renewable energy is entitled to be paid a specific rate: Solar is P9.68/kwh, wind is P8.53/kwh, biomass is P6.60/kwh and hydro is P5.90/kwh.

Consumers will not pay that specific amount but only the feed-in tariff allowance (FIT-All) which the TransCo wants to be pegged at P0.04/kwh. The FIT-All will be charged to all electricity consumers, as part of government efforts to develop the renewable energy sector.

It does not yet include administrative fees and payment for the trustee bank where the money will be deposited.

According to the ERC, while the P0.04/kwh sought by TransCo may still be slashed, all consumers will still have to pay additional for boosting the country's production of electricity from renewable sources of energy.

The ERC said that with the impending power crisis, the FIT-All mechanism can help mitigate or lessen the expected deficit in power supply.

The assurance for renewable energy sources of a feed in tariff or payment will hopefully encourage more players in solar, biomass, wind or hydro in the months or years to come.