CEBU CITY -- Electricity users here will see a P1.17 per kilowatt-hour (/kWh) hike in their bills this month, reflecting higher cost of power bought from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) in May
and the P0.0606/kWh increase in the National Power Corp. rate for the Visayas which the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) approved in March, a senior executive of the Visayan Electric Co. (Veco) said over the weekend.
Ricardo F. Lacson, Veco vice-president for customer service and administration, said in a press conference last Friday that WESM prices rose due to higher consumption and a breakdown of some coal-fired plants in May.
He said Veco gets 9.21% of its power supply from WESM, where prices doubled to P9.9578/kWh in May from P4.8450/kWh in April.
Mr. Lacson said the plants supplying cheaper electricity to WESM that broke down in May are now fully operational.
Power demand, which went up to 405 megawatts (MW) in May from 349 MW in April, is also now expected to normalize with the onset of cooler climate.
He added that the rest of the hike in Veco’s electricity rates in May was due power price adjustments implemented by Napocor, which provides 29% of the utility’s requirement, in order to recover fuel, purchased power and foreign exchange costs incurred from January 2007 to April 2010.
Other Veco sources are Cebu Energy Development Corp., which accounts for 32.49%; Green Core Geothermal Inc., 25.14%; and Cebu Private Power Corp., 4.12%.
Mr. Lacson clarified, however, that the utility’s customers will have to bear longer with higher Napocor rates -- in the case of adjustments due to the generation rate adjustment mechanism (GRAM) for the next 10-and-a-half years and in the case of the incremental currency exchange rate adjustment (ICERA), the next five years.
Of the P0.6060/kWh to be recovered in the Visayas, P0.4847/kWh is for GRAM while P0.1213 is for ICERA. -- Marlen D. Limpag