As the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic continues to affect the energy sector in the country, the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association, Inc. (PHILRECA) has assured that electric cooperatives (ECs) will continue to provide consumers with affordable power rates as compared to other distribution utilities. 

“Electric cooperatives are the government’s staunchest and most ideal partner in total electrification. We have energized the most far-flung areas in the country long before others have taken interest in servicing them,” PHILRECA president Presley De Jesus said in a statement.

“We were created to become service-oriented and not for profit-oriented utilities. The fact that we do not factor in any profit in our rate-setting mechanism ensures that our member-consumer-owners will get the most affordable energy rates possible,” De Jesus, who is also PHILRECA Party-list representative, added. 

“We were created to become service-oriented and not for profit-oriented utilities.”

The organization noted that the ECs only charge its member-consumer-owners (MCOs) for its distribution system and services a little over P1 for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) consumption reflected in their electricity bills. 

This is only a third of how much other private distribution utilities charge their consumers at more than P3 per kWh, explained PHILRECA Executive Director and General Manager Atty. Janeene Depay-Colingan.

The PHILRECA executive issued the clarification in relation to the information released by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) over the weekend. 

“Just to clarify the reports, the information on distribution utility charge released by NGCP is based on the billing statement of a residential consumer from the largest electric distribution utility, and does not refer to the case of the electric cooperatives,” Colingan said.

“Our member-consumer-owners will get the most affordable energy rates possible.”

“While percentages vary, electric cooperatives only retain for distribution system charges at least 10 percent of the total electricity bill of the MCOs,” she added.

This was presented in a public hearing held by the Committee on Energy of the House of Representatives last May 27, 2020. During the said hearing, PHILRECA reported that in terms of share for every one peso paid by consumers for its electricity bill, the distribution/supply/metering (DSM) charges of ECs only amount to a little more than P0.10.

“There were no instances where the distribution charge of electric cooperatives would reach 33.49 percent of the effective power rate of the DU,” Colingan stressed. 

Moreover, she cited that in a member-electric coop with an effective power rate of P9.41 per kWh, transmission charge is 15.50 percent of the effective rate, while DSM charge is only 11 percent. In another coop with an effective power rate of P7.69 per kWh, transmission charge is 15.81 percent, while distribution charge is 17.16 percent.


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