ERC asked to avert looming power hike in Pampanga’s capital
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — Mayor Vilma Caluag of this city has asked the Energy Regulatory Board (ERC) to intervene in the power rate that an electricity distribution company here is set to impose next month.
The Aboitiz-owned San Fernando Electric Light and Power Co., Inc. (SFELAPCO) announced that its generation charge will increase starting Feb. 1 after its contract with a power generating company expired in December 2022.
SFELAPCO also cited the 400 percent increase in the price of imported coal and the low peso-dollar exchange rate as it asked consumers to be “more prudent” in consuming electricity.
On Jan. 26, Caluag and other city officials went to the ERC main office in Pasig City to ask ERC chair Monalisa Dimalanta to help stop the power rate hike.
In her letter to Dimalanta, Caluag said it was only on Jan. 10 that she learned about SFELAPCO’s planned 50 percent rate increase in its generation charge after the power company informed her through a letter.
‘Unaware’ of deal
She said city officials and residents were unaware of SFELAPCO’s application for a power supply agreement (PSA) with a new power generation company or its compliance with pre-filing requirements under ERC rules that include furnishing the San Fernando legislative council of its application for a new PSA.
According to Caluag, the ERC must review the PSA of SFELAPCO with the unidentified generation, citing the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (Epira) which promotes “transparent and reasonable prices of electricity in a regime of free and fair competition.”
“Unless your kind office intervenes… SFELAPCO may likely impose this increase without the benefit of due process and in violation of ERC rules and the Epira,” the mayor told Dimalanta.
On Monday, the Federation of Homeowners’ Associations in this city and the 35 village chiefs comprising the Liga ng mga Barangay (league of villages) opposed the impending power rate increase through separate letters sent to SFELAPCO general manager Jose Lazatin.
The homeowners’ federation also asked the power company for a copy of the latter’s monthly purchases from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) in the last 12 months in kilowatts per hour (kWh) and the corresponding prices.
On its website, SFELAPCO posted a breakdown of its generation charge for December 2022.
It showed that all 53,043,271-kWH for last month were purchased at P4.33 per kWh from its parent company, Aboitiz Power Renewables Inc. None were purchased from the National Power Corporation or the WESM, the Inquirer learned. INQ
Pampanga residents oppose power rate hike in capital city
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