Based on a study, only 89.6% of households across the country have electricity while 2.36 million have no power supply or are located in off-grid areas.
MANILA, Philippines — In an entire day, electricity is available for only three hours in Barangay Little Baguio in Malita, Davao Occidental.
According to Barangay Captain Ferdinand San, they can have access to electricity from 6 pm to 9 pm only using a generator.
It supplies electricity to more than 100 households in the barangay.
Ever since he can remember, their barangay has not been installed with electricity.
“Mabagal ang pag-unlad ng tao. Hindi masyado makatulong,” said the barangay captain.
(Progress is slow. The government hardly helps.)
Based on the study of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in 2017, only 89.6% of households across the country have electricity leaving 2.36 million with no power supply or are located in off-grid areas.
The Department of Energy (DOE) said that President Rodrigo Duterte directed them to complete the 100 percent electrification program for the entire country by 2022.
The President said distribution utilities (DU) will not allow private sectors to operate in their franchise areas, thereby hindering the electrification projects of the government.
“Kung hindi pa nila matugunan yung hinihinging pagpapakabit doon sa isang area ay makakapasok or bubuksan natin ang pintuan sa ating mga pribadong sektor,” said DOE Usec. Wimpy Fuentebella.
(If they still cannot address our request to install electricity in certain areas, we will allow the entry of private sector firms.)
Even Manila Electric Company (Meralco), the biggest distribution utility firm in the country, could not reach islands and remote areas in Luzon.
“Sumusubok kami ng ang tawag ay ‘distributed generation’ na gumagamit ng solar power at battery para makapagdala ng kuryente sa mga ganong lugar,” said Meralco Utility Economics head Larry Fernandez.
(We tried something called “distributed generation” that uses solar power and battery to bring electricity to remote areas.)
The DOE believes renewable energy is the key to providing electricity in far-flung areas across the country.
This is why the agency is ready to accept help from the private sector.
The Philippine government has recently agreed to allow the European Union (EU) to push through with donating P11-billion for the country’s renewable energy project.
Under this, the EU will provide solar panels to areas that could not be reached by distribution utility firms. — Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue
Oil price hike expected this week
MANILA, Philippines — After two consecutive oil price rollbacks, another price hike on petroleum products is underway.
According to industry players, gasoline prices will increase by P0.10 to P0.20 per liter, diesel by P0.30 to P0.40 per liter and kerosene by P0.40 to P0.50 per liter.
The Department of Energy said the devaluation of the peso had a huge effect on oil prices.
Peso to dollar exchange reached P54 last week. Dollars are used in procuring imported petroleum products abroad. — UNTV News & Rescue
Meralco lowers electricity rates for June
Power rates will go down by 13 centavos this month due to lower generation and transmission costs according to the Manila Electric Company (Meralco).
This means that a typical household consuming 200Kw per month will save P26.00 in their electricity bill, and P65.00 for those using 500Kw.
This is the second month that Meralco slashed its rates reporting a net decrease of P130.
But the firm warned that rates will likely go up in July due to the yellow alert warning issued by the National Grid Corporation.
A yellow alert is raised if there is a significant increase in demand against a very low power reserve
“In both cases either the capacity goes down or the demand goes up, price pressure will go upwards in both factors so generally when there is a yellow alert there’s also pressure for spot market prices to go up,” said Utilities and Economics head, Larry Fernandez
Meralco also said that an additional 7-centavos will be imposed because of the feed-in tariff this month.
Under the Philippine Renewable Energy Act of 2008, the feed-in tariff is a policy mechanism designed to accelerate investment in Renewable Energy Technologies by offering cost-based compensation and long-term contracts.
Participating entities are assured fixed payments from each type of renewable energy source for 20 years.
However, the group Laban Konsyumer has filed a motion before the energy regulatory commission questioning the what they call as unreasonable additional fit rate.
“When rate increases, it is a public interest. This is not a procedural requirement only that must be published. This is important for the consumers so they would know what they are paying for,” said Laban Konsyumer president, Vic Dimagiba
If the petition gets junked, the group will elevate it to the Supreme Court. — Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue
ERC lowers system loss cap; Power rates to go down in June
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Lower system loss cap will take effect this month following the Energy Regulatory Commission’s (ERC) directive to power distributors to lower their system loss charges.
The agency explained that reducing the distribution loss cap would bring down power rates and help consumers cope up with rising costs of basic commodities and services.
Thirty percent (30%) of the electricity bill that consumers pay comes from systems loss.
From the 8.5% cap, distribution utilities will charge consumers with only 6.5%. This will be annually reduced until 2022. With this, consumers can expect lower electricity rates in June.
A systems loss can be compared to people carrying water from a remote area. Although you fill the bucket with water, some of it will spill during travel. By the time you arrive at your destination, the amount of water in your bucket has been reduced. The same goes for electricity. The farther its destination, the more electricity is wasted.
Among the causes of systems loss is theft or the installation of so-called “jumpers,” commonly in depressed areas. But ERC explained that systems loss can be avoided if power companies have better facilities.
“Matutugunan yung pagsusuri na kung saan ba nagkakaroon ng malaking system loss at bakit dahil kapag alam mo kung saan at bakit specifically na segregate na nga natin, mas mabibigayn mo ng pansin at matutugunan technically kung ano yung intervention,” said ERC Commissioner Josefina Patricia Asirit.
(By finally identifying the causes and sources of system loss, you can now technically address the appropriate intervention.)
Meralco, for its part, is upgrading its facilities and efforts to prevent systems loss and power pilferage. It previously announced that it will slash its rates this month.
“Kasama na doon yung pag deploy ng elevated metering centers at yung pag engage ng mga local government units at barangay para maiwasan mismo ang pag pilfer ng kuryente,” said Meralco Head of Utilities and Economics Larry Hernandez.
(It includes the deployment of elevated metering centers and the engagement of local government units to prevent the pilferage of electricity.)
A consumer group, meanwhile, expressed relief with ERC’s move.
“Maganda i-announce din nila kung magkano per kilowatt hour ang pagbaba ng presyo ng kuryente ng sa ganoon mayroong pambawas doon sa ini-approve effective June na additional 7 centavos sa feed in tariff allowance,” said Laban Konsyumer Inc. President Vic Dimagiba.
(They should announce the rate reduction per kilowatt hour so that it can be deducted from the seven-centavo increase in tariff allowance that will be implemented in June.)
— Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue