Friday, February 17, 2012

News Update Remote Areas Power Subsidy Seen

MANILA, Philippines - Consumers may have to bear an additional burden by helping shoulder the higher power rates in missionary areas.
Energy Undersecretary Josefina Asirit said the Napocor board review committee has decided to review the cost recovery applications of Napocor to mitigate the impact of higher power rates in missionary or far-flung areas.
Asirit said the board is looking into the application of Napocor that it is not just a GRAM/ICERA (generation rate adjustment mechanism/incremental currency exchange rate adjustment) for the SPUG area but as a universal charge for missionary application so that it is spread.
She added that this will require the approval of the Energy Regulatory Commission.
GRAM and ICERA are cost adjustment mechanisms that allow a delayed recovery by Napocor of its increased generation costs from its operations and foreign exchange fluctuations for the missionary areas.
If the application is filed under the universal charge cost recovery, all power consumers will be forced to shoulder the rate and the impact will be lower to the missionary power users.
"We don't want to burden the SPUG areas, especially because it is for missionary electrification. There is a different application now that will rationalize and even harmonize the previous filings that have not been approved yet," Asirit said.
She said this has already been discussed by the board review committee "and the way forward has been given by the DOF and the DOE." Asirit said the review committee will review both the pending applications and new applications to be filed with the ERC.
"We actually asked them to review even the previous [filing] so that if we can consolidate them and show it to the board then they can proceed with the filing," she said.
Napocor has a pending application with the ERC under the 4th GRAM and ICERA to recover P0.07 per kilowatthour from SPUG areas.
Napocor has also filed a petition to recover a total of P3.121 billion for its SPUG areas under the 7th GRAM and 7TH ICERA. The rates will go up by P2.1380 per kilowatthour in Luzon, P1.5339 per kWh in the Visayas, and P1.07777 per kWh in Mindanao if its petition if approved.
Power rates in the missionary areas range from P6 to P7 per kWh at present. (James A. Loyola)