The Energy Regulatory Commission on Friday proposed several solutions to help Batangas I Electric Cooperative, Inc. and its customers cope with rising electricity prices.
The regulator said these measures which were discussed for further evaluation in a recent forum included the suspension of collection of value added tax on coal; suspension of universal charges and the feed-in-tariff allowance charges, which were temporarily suspended during the initial period of COVID 19 pandemic; and suspension of collection of reinvestment fund for capital expenditures for six months or such period as may be necessary, until the cost of generation stabilized.
Batelec I organized the forum on Oct. 21 upon the initiative of local government units to facilitate the discussion on recent electricity rate increases in its franchise area.
“The power forum was a dynamic session among key stakeholders in the Batelec I franchise area. It allowed for, among others, possible immediate relief to consumers,” ERC chairperson and chief executive Monalisa Dimalanta said.
Dimalanta said Batelec I agreed to work with suppliers—GN Power Dinginin Ltd. Co. and Masinloc Power Partners Co. Ltd.—to nominate lower capacity for the coal plants with pass-through fuel arrangements, so that it could source from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market at certain hours “to allow for a lower blended generation rate.”
Generation cost constituted almost 65 percent of Batelec I’s electricity bill for the September billing period.
Batelec I attributed the increase in power rate to the significant rise in generation cost, driven by higher prices of coal in the world market and the weakening of the peso against the US dollar.
Batelec I distributes electricity to the municipalities of Agoncillo, Balayan, Calaca, Calatagan, Lemery, Lian, San Nicolas, San Luis, Santa Teresita, Taal and Tuy.