Bacolod electric rates go up
BACOLOD CITY – The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has authorized the Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco) to start collecting from its customers the R232 million in “unnominated contract quantities” by October 25, Ceneco General Manager Sulpicio Lagarde Jr. said.
ERC earlier denied the motion to dismiss filed by Social Action Center (SAC) and gave applicants KEPCO SPC Power Corporation (KSPC) and Ceneco the go-ahead to collect a total of R232,010,090.
This means an additional monthly rate of R0.0817 per kilowatt-hour for 50 months or until the full amount has been recovered. The increase will be reflected in the customers’ October 16 billing, Lagarde said.
If ERC stops Ceneco from implementing the rate hike or order it to refund whatever amount it has already collected, it will comply, he said in a press conference Wednesday.
He said if the cooperative has a choice it will not raise its rates because a high electricity rate could lead to a lower collection efficiency and an increase in power pilferages.
The SAC, represented by Fr. Chris Gonzales, filed a motion before the ERC to prevent Ceneco from charging its customers the R232 million for “unnominated contract quantities” starting October 25.
SAC, represented by its legal counsel Vicente Petierre III, asked ERC to reconsider its decision dated June 27 approving the rate hike, and for a new decision dismissing the case.
Petierre said Ceneco is not authorized to sign the petition for the increase and failed to comply with the rule on certification of non-forum shopping.
He also said the contract for the unnominated quantity, or the power sold by KSPC to Ceneco is grossly disadvantageous and should not be charged to the consumers.