Tell it to SunStar: Present roadmap

Jaydar Medrozo, People’s Oversight Watchdog for Energy Reforms (Power)
·2 min read

We are asking Visayan Electric Company (Veco) to pursue creative means in reducing the cost of power in Metro Cebu, especially now that the country is starting to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The data from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) show that Veco is currently 28th highest in average residential rate in the country. Moreover, I believe Veco can still do more.

For Veco, being the 28th highest among over 100 distribution utilities and electric cooperatives all over the country may be enough, but for us, consumers, it is not. They can still do more.

We demand Veco to present a roadmap to consumers on how to bring the price of electricity down, and show this roadmap to stakeholders and consumers.

We need Veco, one of the biggest businesses in Cebu, to help spur the economic recovery of the island through a creative, responsive rate mechanism, especially during these difficult times.

We are not asking for free power, but we ask for a little more creativity and commitment from the management of Veco.

For 2020, Veco had an average of P9.33/kwh for residential consumers, according to data from the Energy Regulatory Commission. The data was based on the rates submitted by the distribution utilities and electric cooperatives in 2020.

The highest electricity rate in the country, according to ERC data, belongs to Camiguin Electric Cooperative at P13.47/kwh. It is followed by Pampanga Electric Service Cooperative at P13.33/kwh, and Lubang Electric Cooperative at P12.00/kwh.

Among the big cities, Cagayan de Oro through Cepalco has the highest at 15th place P10.04/kwh, followed by Iligan City at 27th place with P9.33/kwh. Bacolod City is at 38th highest with P8.97/kwh, while Iloilo City is at 47th highest with P8.80/kwh average.

Power rates move up and down based on numerous factors including demand for power, efficiency of power plants, fuel cost, among others. Meralco is at 77th highest with P7.85/kwh average, while Davao City is at 76th with P7.86/kwh average.

While Power believes that Veco can still optimize its operations and streamline its charges, it does not support exposing its demand to the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) as the price fluctuations in the market will endanger consumers more.