National Power Corporation (Napocor) will be asking regulators to approve a power rate hike aimed at recovering a P5.89-billion shortfall in the missionary electrification subsidy, the state-owned firm’s president said.
Napocor President Ma. Gladys Cruz-Sta. Rita said the petition, to be filed before the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) today and covering the shortfall incurred in 2014, was based on actual expenses as against actual approved revenues and sales from missionary areas and the Universal Charge for Missonary Electrification (UCME), respectively.
“This will not increase the corporation’s rate upon filing and will still pass through the process of public hearing and the Commission’s evaluation and approval before implementation,” Sta. Rita said.
The recovery of the P5.89-billion shortfall means a true-up adjustment rate of P0.0788 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) per month.
Napocor said a very low basic UCME of P0.0454/kWh, which amounts to just P2.7 billion per year, was behind the shortfall.
The firm said an adjustment was allowed under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001, which states that the UCME is to be collected from all electricity consumers.
The firm added that the petiton was in accordance with ERC Resolution 21, series of 2011 entitled “Amended Guidelines for the Setting and Approval of Electricity Generation Rates and Subsidies for Missionary Areas”, which provides that if the reconciliation results in Napocor’s Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG) having a deficiency, as confirmed by the ERC, it shall be entitled to an increase in the UCME to cover the shortfall.
Sta. Rita said the additional revenues to be generated with the approval of the petition would ensure uninterrupted electricity supply. Given increasing demand for energy and in line with the government’s thrust of economic development in off-grid areas, the availability of funding thru the UCME, particularly for fuel requirements, will enable Napocor to optimize the use of available plant capacity, she said.