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Tight watch on power firms

The Energy Regulatory Commission yesterday clarified that distribution utilities comply with the mandated system loss cap in the wake of the accusation hurled by former distribution utility Panay Electric Company (PECO) against More Electric and Power Corporation (More Power) of high systems loss that it charges to its customers.

According to ERC chairman Agnes Devanadera, the commission strictly monitors the compliance of the distribution utilities with the system loss cap.

Under tge ERC rules, DUs are required to submit their system loss reports monthly including a sworn statement annual report which shows their respective system loss, which is used by the agency to monitor their compliance.

In 2018, ERC implemented a system loss cap of 6.5 percent to all distribution utilities with the aim of lowering the electricity costs of consumers as mandated by the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) and improving the services of power distributors.

“The lowering of the system loss caps is a move to bring down the power rates and help electricity consumers mitigate the impact of rising costs of commodities and services. This will encourage distribution utilities (DUs) to improve their distribution system and facilities so that they adhere to the newly-prescribed system loss cap,” said Devanadera.

It can be recalled that More Power castigated PECO for using its ally Koalisyon Bantay Kuryente(KBK) to show that its system loss reached 7.1%, higher than the 6.5% cap set by ERC.

More Power said the system loss it passes on to consumers is only at 6%, clearly below the 6.5 % cap.

More Power committed to its 65,000 Iloilo power customers that it will continue to bring down its system loss within the next three years as it implements its P1.8 billion modernization program.

There are two types of system loss, first is technical o losses during the transmission of electricity from the generation company to the DUs and if the distribution system is efficient there is a lower change of technical losses.

The second is non-technical system loss or losses due to pilferage through “jumpers” or illegal connections, which are charged to customers under the system loss charge.

Iloilo City became controversial in 2017 due to its high system loss which reached 9.93 percent, the highest among all private utilities around the country.

PECO’s generation charge was also highest at that time at P2.50 per kilowatthour, higher than other urban cities like Manila, Cebu an Davao. Electricity charges in Iloilo City under PECO was highest compared to 70 countries around the world, which is the result of old and deteriorating distribution lines, transformers at substations built during the 1970s and the proliferation of around 30,000 illegal power connections.

Publication Source :    People's Journal