ERC sees power rate hike to avert crisis

By Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 19 2014 04:22 PM | Updated as of Aug 20 2014 12:22 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said solutions seen to avert a potential energy crisis in the country will mean a spike in the cost of electricity charged to consumers.

ERC executive director Atty. Francis Juan said that based on a simulation done by the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), the charge passed on to consumers was only P0.0001/kwh or around P343,000 for last May's interruptible load program (ILP), where private generators were used for 2 hours and deloaded 50 megawatts.

Juan explained that the cost will really go up if the fuel cost is more expensive.

"Kung mahal ang cost of fuel, may impact talaga sa rate, may additional compensation kung mahal ang fuel," he said.

A 10-megawatt generator under the ILP used for 10 hours a month translates to an additional P650,000 charged to all consumers, based on a simulation presented by Meralco to ERC.

Earlier, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) had warned of rate hikes during the expected power crisis in the summer of 2015.

The TUCP estimates a P1,600 to P1,800 additional charge on top of the usual electricity bill of Meralco customers.