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Ceneco eyeing reduction of rates

BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III

The Central Negros Electric Cooperative will implement different measures to reduce power rates by P1 by June this year.

Ceneco project supervisor and acting general manager Dan Pondevilla said yesterday that among the measures is the reduction of generation charges.

Pondevilla also said that they will review Ceneco’s contracts with power suppliers and reduce the number if possible.

Ceneco’s contract with Kepco Salcon Power Corp. (KSPC) for a 40-megawatt power supply for its based load is about to end this May and Podevilla said they opt to reduce it by 20MW.

Pondevilla said they will make public any contract they will enter into with power suppliers and will allow representatives of consumers’ groups to observe the bidding for transparency purposes.

He said all contracts with power suppliers should be studied thoroughly before approval to make sure that these are not detrimental to the member consumers.

During a recent board meeting, Pondevilla said he did not sign a memorandum of agreement with power supplier Energreen for the supply of 8MW as part of the renewable portfolio standard sans proper bidding process.

He said that as project supervisor, he has the authority to reject or accept any resolution made by Ceneco’s board of directors.

Despite the reduction of supply availment from power suppliers, Pondevilla assured that it will not hamper electricity distribution to its consumers in central Negros Occidental.

On the issue of power outage, Pondevilla said they are also looking into several options to reduce its effects.

Among the measures to be implemented is power looping where they can loop electric supply from another line while Ceneco is fixing one of its power lines.

Ceneco will also schedule maintenance activities from 4-8 a.m.

DEFICIT

Ceneco posted a P396 million deficit in its income because of low efficiency rate, hence, they need to impose disconnection to consumers with standing arrears.

The collection efficiency rate of the firm was at 87 percent last year while it was 96 percent in 2019.

The Energy Regulations Commission announced last year a halt in the disconnection of lifeline consumers, or those who consume 100 kilowatt or below of electricity until Dec. 31.

The disconnection was supposedly applicable to lifeline consumers only but most electric cooperatives chose to include other member consumers as well because of the pandemic, Pondevilla said.

If no disconnection will be made, Ceneco will continue to incur deficits in its collection and this might result in losses that would eventually lead to the privatization of the cooperative, he said. Pondevilla also said that Ceneco’s systems loss was at 8.5 percent last year that was triggered by illegal connections and is not at par with standards.*

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