Power rates increase by January 2015.
Author: Darvin Tocmo Date Posted:19 December 2014
Manila, Philippines – Pump prices continue to fall but higher electricity rates will still take effect next year, January 2015. According to Executive director Saturnino Juan, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has approved the feed-in tariff allowance (FIT-ALL) for renewable energy projects. “The long wait is over,” he said. “We will have the fit system effective January 2015 billing.” Electricity rates would be higher by 4 centavos and this would be slapped on all on-grid electricity consumers due to FIT-ALL, Juan said. The FIT-ALL will be given to renewable energy players as an incentive to invest in the more expensive but less lucrative sector. Renewable energy players are solar, wind, biomass and small hydro power companies. At the rate of 4 centavos per kilowatt-hour, the FIT-ALL will be charged to all electricity consumers, similar to a universal charge, which separate line electricity bills used to pay off the debts used to pay off the debts of the National Power Corp. (NAPOCOR). It will ensure that renewable energy developers under the FIT system will be paid in full for their actual electricity generation based on the fixed tariff approved for them. Juan said, State-owned National Transmission Co. (Transco) will implement the FIT-ALL, which is mandated under the Renewable Energy Act of 2008. The grant of a provisional authority would allow it to perform its duties to pay the renewable developers the FIT rate which are entitled to, thereby allowing their continued operations, Transco said. As mandated by the ERC, Transco would administer the fund after collection. Renewable energy companies under the FIT system are entitled to the following FIT rates: P9.68 per kWh for solar power, P8.53 per kWh for wind and P5.90 per kWh for run-of-river hydroelectric power. In its decision issued in October, the ERC said that it has found Transco's petition, together with its supporting documents, sufficient to grant the provisional authority to implement the FIT-ALL. “For this purpose, all distribution utilities, retail electricity suppliers, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines are hereby directed to adopt the necessary modifications in their respective billing and collection systems to effect the implementation of the said FIT-ALL as a separate line item in their bills to end-users starting in the January 2015 billing and remit the same in accordance with the FIT-ALL guidelines,” the ERC said. The government has been trying to attract investors into the renewable energy sector amid calls among environmental groups to develop cleaner sources of energy other than coal. The filing of the FIT-ALL comes while the Philippines is grappling with a looming power crisis next year Find more information at: http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2014/12/17/1403567/power-rates-january