59 electric cooperatives fail to get power suppliers’ nod to lift minimum charges

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 22) - There are 59 electric cooperatives which failed to get favor from their power suppliers to lift the minimum energy off-take in a bid to reduce the power rates of electric consumers, said a power cooperative group.

Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association Inc. (PHILRECA) General Manager and Executive Director Janeene Colingan said that only two electric cooperatives were allowed by their power suppliers to lift the so-called minimum charges by electric utilities.

“The individual electric cooperatives are now negotiating individually with their power suppliers. Unfortunately, as of this time, only few electric cooperatives were able to negotiate favorably. But most of them did not get the favor they are asking from the power supplier,” Colingan told the Joint Congressional Energy Commission hearing on Friday.

Colingan noted that PHILRECA has already requested power generation companies and regulatory bodies to adjust the fees and other charges passed on to consumers and “based it on the actual electricity consumption of electric cooperatives until the operations of DUs (distribution utilities) or electric cooperatives have normalized.” But the request was not accepted.

National Association of General Managers President Allan Laniba, a member of PHILRECA’s board of directors, is hoping that the Energy Regulatory Commission could take a look into their wish to reduce the electric rates of consumers.

“It’s not really for the electric consumers, but for the member-consumer-owners or the electric consumers,” he said.

The Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. already said it will not allow the suspension or lowering of the minimum energy off-take by electric cooperatives unless there is a declaration of force majeure.