Electric bills to rise by at least 8% this month

Consumers will have to resort to energy-saving tips if they wish to reduce their electricity bills beginning this March 2022 as the National Power Corporation implements a 31 percent increase in its generation rate this year until 2024.

According to a simulation conducted by the First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative, Inc. (FICELCO) last week, residential and commercial consumers as well as public buildings and streetlights with a monthly consumption of 25 kilowatt-hours will see their bill increase by P23.13.

FICELCO CONSUMERS wait for their turn to pay their February 2022 electric bills at the the cooperative’s collection office at San Pablo, Virac last week.

The estimated increase for the following levels of consumption for all consumer types this year are as follows: P92.52 for 100-kWh, P185.04 for 200-kWh and P925.19 for 1000-kWh.

In 2023, the expected increase in monthly power bills are as follows: P40.89 for 25-kWh consumption; P163.57 for 100-kWh; P327.15 for 200-kWh; P817.87 for 500-kWh; and, P1,635.75 for 1,000-kWh.

For 2024, the additional payments will come up to P54.25 for 25-kWh consumption; P216.99 for 100-kWh; P433.98 for 200-kWh; P1,084.94 for 500-kWh; and, P2,169.88 for 1,000-kWh.

The rate increase is pursuant to Jan. 31, 2022 decision of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on ERC Case No. 2018-048 RC on the Napocor’s petition for the approval of the new Subsidized Approved Generation Rate (SAGR).

According to the petition, the proposed increase is due to Republic Act No. 10963, otherwise known as the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN), which imposed an excise tax of P2.50 per liter in 2018, P4.50 in 2019 and P6.00 in 2020.

As a result, the ERC approved the prospective implementation of rates of increase in SAGR for Luzon: P0.7289 in 2022, P1.3116 in 2023 and P1.7496 in 2024.

This brings the SAGR from the existing P5.6404/kWh to P6.3693 this year, P6.9520 in 2023 and P7.3900 in 2024.

The 2024 level will prevail in succeeding years unless changed or revoked by the ERC.

Using the February 2022 rate structure as comparison, the new power rates will rise to P12.30 per kWh for residences consuming 1,000 kWh, P8.78/kwh for commercial establishments, P8.75.kWh for public buildings and P9.77/kWh for streetlights.

The Commission also said that NPC is still ensured of the opportunity to recover deficiencies in its allowable fuel costs based on actual operation in the future, through separate filing for recovery through the Generation Rate Adjustment Mechanism (GRAM).

With water levels in operational mini-hydroelectric power plants expected to drop at the onset of summer the cost of electricity in the island province is expected to rise in the coming months.

Production from diesel power plants already account for majority of the energy produced in the Catanduanes grid.

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