Digicast Negros

Impose price cap to halt rising power rates, Albee asks DOE 

Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez is asking the Department of Energy to impose a price cap to halt the exorbitant rise in electricity rates.

There are provisions in the Electric Power Industry Reform Act that allows the Energy Regulatory Commission to impose a price cap on electricity rates under certain circumstances such as the drought that has had devastating effects on the economy, Benitez said on Monday, May 20.

“It is a matter of making the ERC aware that we are experiencing a calamity because of the drought”, he said, adding that he expects an answer to his request within the week.

“I have asked the Department of Energy to give me the guidelines on how we can trigger a price cap,” Benitez said.

The Central Negros Electric Cooperative on May 16, announced a P3.2066 increase per kilowatt-hour in its electricity rates. CENECO said from P11.9566 /kWh in April, the power rates in its coverage area will be P15.1632/kWh in May.

“We have never experienced power rates this high,” Benitez said, adding that he is appealing for a rate below P15.1/kWh.

The Negros Occidental Electric Cooperative in southern Negros also announced an upward adjustment of P3.33/kWh, from P14.6309 in April to P17.9609 in May.

Benitez said he is appealing for a price cap for Ceneco but he is sure if the ERC can do it nationwide, it will be much appreciated.

The power rates have gone up because the demand has increased, but there is no reason for the exorbitant price increases since the costs of the power producers have not gone up, Benitez said.*

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