Electricity sales by the electric cooperatives (ECs) in the first quarter of 2018 have reached 4,924 gigawatt hours (gWh), an increase of 11 percent compared to the same period last year, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) figures show.

Data released by the Information Technology and Communication Services Department (ITCSD) of the agency identified the residential sector as the biggest consumer of electricity, accounting to 2,506 gWh or 51 percent, followed by the commercial sector with 1,187 gWh or 24 percent. Electricity sales to the industrial sector came in at 881 gWh or 18 percent, public building electricity sales at 268 gWh or 5 percent, and others at 82 gWh or 2 percent.

Latest NEA data showed that of the total electricity sales, 2,371 gWh or 48 percent was transacted in Luzon, 1,164 gWh or 24 percent in Visayas, and 1,389 gWh or 28 percent in Mindanao. Compared to the same period in 2017, electricity sales by the ECs improved by 11 percent to 4,924 gWh from 4,417 gWh driven by the increase in consumption within the three major islands.

NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong welcomed this development as this reaffirmed the significance of the ECs in driving rural economic growth. “These data show an upward-moving slope in the demand for electricity in the rural areas – a positive surge in economic activity including those in production, manufacturing and consumer trade being catered to and aptly provided by electric cooperatives in the past year,” Masongsong said.

The data shows an upward-moving slope in the demand for electricity in the rural areas.

“These numbers, while showing a direct correlation between the services of the electric cooperative sector and national growth, also validate our contention that electric cooperatives drive the rural economy and continue to immensely contribute to the country’s impressive numbers, despite challenges, as far as economic fundamentals are concerned,” the NEA chief added.

To date, the NEA in partnership with 121 ECs has energized more than 12 million households across the country.

The state-run agency is mandated to implement the total electrification of the country. To date, the NEA in partnership with 121 ECs has energized more than 12 million households across the country. About 19,740 sitios, however, still do not have access to electricity. Of these, 1,702 sitios are identified as “off-grid” found mainly in Mindanao with 1,003, followed by Visayas with 557, and Luzon with 142.

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