Higher power rates next month

By Danessa Rivera

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The ERC approved an increase of 18.3 centavos per kilowatt-hour in the FIT-All, higher by 5.90 cents per kwh compared to the provisionally approved rate of 12.4 cents per kwh reflected in consumer bills, which started in January. File

MANILA, Philippines - Consumers will see higher electricity bills in June after the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) approved a higher feed-in tariff allowance (FIT-All) rate to be charged to electricity users.

The ERC approved an increase of 18.3 centavos per kilowatt-hour in the FIT-All, higher by 5.90 cents per kwh compared to the provisionally approved rate of 12.4 cents per kwh reflected in consumer bills, which started in January.

The FIT-All increase will be reflected in consumers’ bills next month, the regulator said.

In its decision, the commission said there is a need to raise the FIT-All rate to address the inability of the FIT-All fund to pay in full the claims of FIT-eligible generators.

This will cover the unpaid P6.6 billion in payments to renewable energy developers under the FIT system, which details perks for power developers for a period of 20 years to invest in the more expensive renewable sector.

The amount also includes P230 million in late payment interests.

“If the FIT-All rate is not adjusted, the lag could increase… thereby increasing the late payment interest that needs to be paid to renewable energy developers,” the ERC decision read.

FIT-All is a uniform charge billed to all on-grid electricity consumers, reflected as a separate component in their monthly electricity bills, to cover payments to renewable energy investors to develop wind, solar, biomass and hydropower projects.

Under the FIT-All guidelines, the National Transmission Corp. (TransCo) is designated as the administrator of the FIT-All Fund and is required to make an annual determination of the tariff.

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