NGCP belies Meralco’s claim of hike transmission charges

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The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) belied Meralco’s claim that it has increased transmission charges prompting the distribution utility to hike electricity charge for consumers.

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In a press conference with the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) region media at the Splash Mountain Resort at Barangay Lalakay in Los Baños town, Laguna on Tuesday, Lawyer Cynthia Alabanza, NGCP spokesperson and Corporate Communications head clarified that NGCP is not in a position to hike any charges in the transmission of electricity without prior approval by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

“Hindi po kami nagtataas ng transmission or power delivery charge contrary to Meralco’s claim, because we are also controlled and highly regulated,” Atty. Alabanza stressed.

The NGCP spokesperson explained that the transmission firm does not resort to any move or action without the ERC’s go signal.

“We also cannot implement any project or hike the rate without the approval of the ERC,” Alabanza added as she presented to the media the ERC-approved Power Delivery Service (PDS) rate from 2011 to 2015 is on a downward rate.

Alabanza presented the chart indicating the downward rate as approved by the ERC and subsequently published PDS rate for the public information.

She said the rate is monthly, with indications of fluctuations and the trend goes down citing for instance in Luzon where the rate in January this year is 330 but decreased to 324 in July this year indicating a decreasing structure for the third regulatory period.

Alabanza also pointed to the monthly electric bill which shows the ancillary service that pertains to the electricity obtained by the NGCP from the power sources to serve something like a “spare tire” or back-up to ensure steady supply of power.

She elaborated that the “spare tire” is also used to stabilize voltage and stabilize frequency and is vital to run the power transmission smoothly.

The NGCP spokesperson said the electricity ancillary service is “passed through” without extra charge as sourced from the power plants.

According to Alabanza, despite fluctuations in the electricity rate, NGCP has not increased any charge in its transmission of power to the distribution utility like Meralco and the power distribution utility charges is the generation and not the transmission services.

She also cited that NGCP’s replacements of tower powers are much sturdier, durable and can withstand Signal Number 4 or super typhoons than they were before when toppled by strong weather disturbance like “Juan” that lashed out Northern Luzon.

“We can now restore the power transmission towers like the 14 towers struck by typhoon “Juan” in five days because of our state-of-the-art emergency restoration system (ERS) like the “lego-type” and the by-pass lines,” Atty. Alabanza said. PNA

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