In time for Consumer Welfare Month: CEPALCO drops distribution prices
Just as the country’s biggest utility is again poised to raise its generation charges as a result of the four day shutdown of the Malampaya fueled power plants, Cagayan de Oro’s electric distribution utility dropped its retail prices starting with this month’s billings.
In a statement sent to media, the Cagayan Electric Power & Light Company, Inc. (CEPALCO) informed its customers of the reduction of its distribution rates starting with the October 2014 billings based on the Energy Regulatory Commission’s (ERC) Order No. 2014-028 dated 04 August, 2014, approving CEPALCO’s proposed Maximum Average Price (MAP) for Regulatory Year 2015. It was signed by ERC Chair Zenaida G. Cruz-Ducut and commissioners Alfredo J. Non, Gloria Victoria C. Yap-Taruc and Josefina Patricia A. Magpale-Asirit.
The said ERC Order was officially docketed and posted at the ERC Website on September 23, 2014.
Specifically, the average reductions in the distribution rates as compared with the August 2014 billings are as follows:
|Rate Schedule / Type of Service||Reduction & Approved Regulatory Year 2015 Rates (P/kWh)|
|18 (Streetlight)||(0.13) 1.0755|
|28 (Residential)||(0.26) 1.4273|
|38 (Commercial)||(0.18) 1.2789|
|48-A (General Power/Big Commercial, High Load Factor)||(0.09) 0.0951/281.78|
|48-B (General Power/Big Commercial, Low Load Factor)||(0.11) 0.8606|
|58 (Bulk Power 69 kV) Bundled & Wheeling||(0.07) 0.0588/212.42|
|68 and 68W (Bulk Power 138 kV) Bundled & Wheeling||(0.01) 0.0423/33.77|
Consumer Group Konsumanteng Kagay-anon Inc. (KKI) welcomed the development as another positive indication that consumers vigilance and advocacy pays off, this coming just as the country celebrated Consumer Welfare Month (CWM).
The CWM is held every October pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 1098. This event is led by the National Consumer Affairs Council (NCAC), which was created under Republic Act 7394, better known as the “Consumer Act of the Philippines,” to improve the management, coordination and effectiveness of the nation’s consumer programs.
The theme for this year’s CWM is “Sapat na Impormasyon: Susi sa Wastong Paggamit ng Enerhiya” as the DOE and NCAC aim to highlight consumer education in choosing the best energy choices.
“For the longest time, the DOE has been constantly pushing and updating the public on the efficient use of energy consuming devices, not just to lower their electricity bill, but also to instill a sustainable way of living.” DOE Usec. Loreta G. Ayson said during the Chairmanship Turnover Ceremony for the hosting of the 2014 Consumer Welfare Month held at the DOE Training Room on 22 July 2014.
“Consumers are always shortchanged. The philosophy of our trade is that it is more important than public welfare. It is always business first, before consumer rights. We need to change that,” said DOH representative and Food and Drugs Authority Director, Dr. Kenneth Hartigan-Go during the same launching event.
The Department of Energy (DOE) leads the celebration of the 2014 Consumer Welfare Month (CWM) highlighting the recent launch of its consumer websites — Kuryente and WattMatters, aimed at educating the public on the fundamentals of power industry operation and efficient energy utilization.
The Kuryente website (www.kuryente.org.ph) aims to respond to the public’s perennial question about energy, “Magkano ba ang kuryente mo?” The site provides a database of the country’s distribution utilities, power rates, and other valuable information about the power industry.
The WattMatters website (www.wattmatters.org.ph), on the other hand, seeks to teach people the value of managing energy use as it shows the cost of operating energy appliances and how to save energy.
Through these basic tools, the DOE hopes to empower consumers in making more intelligent energy choices at the most opportune time when volatile energy prices pose a formidable challenge in budgeting household income for monthly expenditures.
The DOE is an ex-officio member of the NCAC together with non-governmental organizations Nationwide Association of Consumers Inc., Consumer Rights for Safe Food, Coalition for Consumer Protection, and Welfare Inc., National Federation of Women’s Clubs of the Phils., Inc., Phil. Bakers Industry Group, and the Philippine Retailers Association, as well as representatives from the Department of Agriculture, Department of Education, Department of Trade and Industry, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. (BWM News Bureau)