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LKI Press Statement
January 22, 2021
Consumer group asks ERC for cheaper costs of renewable energy
Consumers can look forward to a refund as well a cheaper costs of electricity from renewable energy resources.
Consumer advocate Atty. Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba, in his capacity as an electricity consumer as well as President of Laban Konsyumer Inc. , filed this week a Petition in the Energy Regulatory Commission to repeal its decision that increased Feed in Tariff or FIT and opposed new application to increase Feed-in Tariff Allowance to Php 0.22 per kilowatt hour.
The Petition and the Opposition are consistent with the energy policy statement that the development of the renewable energy resources for power shall be cheaper for the consumers.
First, Dimagiba seeks to repeal the unwarranted increases in Feed in Tariff or FIT. Fit is a fixed amount of money that are paid to renewable energy resources developer by the government. In turn, consumers pays the FIT administrator what is billed as FIT Allowance in the electricity bills.
In the recent Petition docketed on January 13, 2021 as ERC Case No. 2021-001 RM, Dimagiba explained that it was appalling that ERC decided to increase the FIT rates, retroactive to 2016 up to 2020, that are paid to renewable energy developers, when in fact, there was no valid reason to do so.
Just to highlight the additional burden that will again be shouldered by the hapless consumers, it can be seen the already high FIT Rate for SOLAR energy at P9.68/KWH set in 2014 is further adjusted to a staggering P11.2758/KWH for year 2020. The same is true for WIND energy which from the original FIT rate at P8.53/KWH, it now stands at whopping P9.8976/KWH for year 2020. Easily, these are almost two pesos and more than a peso adjustment for the SOALR and WIND FIT rate, respectively that will have to be unfairly borne by the consumers thru the collection of Feed in Tariff Allowance or FIT All.”
Dimagiba added that his letter of December 16, 2020 on the same subject was ignored and not answered by ERC that compelled him to file the instant Petition.
The group detailed “As a keen advocate of consumer rights, we respectfully submitted that there is an undeniable need to nullify the said ERC decision to allow the proper observance of due process and set the proper forum, wherein all interested parties can engage in a hearing, especially with the participation of the consumers. At the onset, we respectfully highlight that the imposition of the abovementioned adjusted FIT rates does not comply with the requirements of the ERC and was based solely on data submitted by the renewable energy developers , and without the participation of other power generators, distribution utilities, electric cooperatives and the consumers.
Second, the consumer advocate opposed the 2021 FIT Allowance Application for Php 0.22 per kilowatt hour from the current Php 0.09 per kWh in ERC Case No. 2020- 020 RC. Dimagiba will demand in the hearing of the FIT Allowance application a detailed accounting of payments to renewable energy resources developers of the adjusted and higher FIT rates which it seeks to annul in ERC Case No. 2021-001 RM.
Regarding all these issues on FIT and FIT-ALL, Laban Konsyumer looks for swift action to be taken by ERC to resolve the issues, that have an immense impact on the costs being passed on to consumers, especially during these challenging times of pandemic. Dimagiba is ready to pursue the advocacy for cheaper costs of power from renewable energy resources.