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LKI 17th Press Statement
April 10, 2019
CONSUMER GROUP BEWAILS NEW UNIVERSAL CHARGES FOR RAISING ELECTRICITY PRICES
The consumer group , Laban Konsyumer Inc. called out the new universal charges component of the electricity bill for raising price of electricity.
Vic Dimagiba, LKI President , pointed out that “while the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) prominently announced that the Feed-in Tariff Allowance (FIT-All) was decreased by P0.0337 per kWh effectiive the April 2019 billing, the Universal Charge of NPC Stranded Debts was adjusted upward without any such announcement from the ERC , which resulted in net increase of P0.0163 per kWh This shows that Universal Charge worsened the problem for consumers and raised the price of electricity for customers.”
The group said that “for the April 2019 rates, in addition to the other contributors to increase in generation charge, there was an increase in the Universal Charge for NPC’s stranded debt.
ERC isssued the Order and it was merely posted on their website. This is sad news because it was wrong timing that while FIT-All went down, the effects of this decrease were unfortunately offset by the increase in Universal Charge. The corresponding increase magnified and made the situation worse for consumers and the price of electricity that they will have to pay. This month of April , we can definitely blame the universal charge for the rise in prices, which was a total of P0.0633 per kWh in rates and an increase of around P13 in the total bill of a typical household consuming 200kwh.”
LKI explained the ERC approved in July 2017 a UC-SD rate of P0.0265/kWh for recovery by NPC of its Stranded Debt for 2011 and 2012. This was reflected in the electric bills of customers in August 2017. The approved UC-SD amount was P24.2 Billion for recovery over 9 years from electricity consumers in Luzon, Mindanao and Visayas grids.
On March 28, 2019, the ERC posted in its website its ruling approving a new UC-SD rate of P0.0428/kWh. It is not difficult to see that the Universal Charge and its increase has a major effect on the rise in power prices. And our group calls this out as it offset the reduction in FIT-All.
Dimagiba continued that”the approved amount for UC-SD increased to P36.7 Billion or P0.0163/kWh higher than the July 2017 level. The ERC recomputed its previously approved fuel and purchased power costs. The new UC-SD rate was thus reflected in the electric bills of customers this month, and the higher UC-SD added to the increase of power bills and rates this month, negatively affecting consumer welfare and raising their costs.
In Congress is the pending Murang Kuryente Bill that earmarks the Malampaya royalty as a form of subsidy that will absorb the NPC stranded debts and contract costs.
However , the consumer group reiterates its earlier appeal that the new Congress repeals the EPIRA law and put a full stop passing on the universal charges of NPC to the consumers. The new Congress should decide on the “fate” of these debts and costs.
Recently, DTI issued certificate of recognition to LKI as a consumer organization at the local level . LKI is a full menber of the Consumers International.
For any inquiries or concerns, you may reach LKI President Vic Dimagiba at 0917-812-5546. Visit our updated website at www.labankonsyumer.com