Consumer advocacy group Laban Konsyumer Inc. (LKI) renewed its call to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to act on the Feed-In-Tariff Allowance (FIT-All) being charged to consumers’ electricity bills.
In a meeting with ERC Chair Agnes Devanadera, LKI President Atty. Vic Dimagiba said that the FIT-All continues to be a burden to consumers and the ERC must act swiftly in declaring a moratorium in its application in monthly electricity charges.
“FIT-All is collected from electric consumers nationwide and is used to subsidize payments to select RE developers. But what is alarming though is that FIT-All has increased more than sixfold from 4-c/kWh in 2015 to 25-c/kWh starting June 2018. There are even pending petitions to further increase this to as much as 29-c/kWh. We met with ERC to put a stop to this unjust and overpriced component of consumers’ electricity bills,” Dimagiba said.
He also cited the approved FIT-All rates ERC approved which were higher than originally applied for by petitioners.
“The FIT-All Rate Petitions are the only cases where the Commission grants a rate that is higher than what was asked by the Petitioners. In fact, the FIT rates granted to developers have been shown to be far too expensive. For example, the solar rates signed by electric distributors with developers, as submitted to the ERC for approval, are cheaper than the FIT rates that consumers nationwide will subsidize for 20 years,” he said.
During the meeting, Dimagiba also cited the overpayments made to FIT-eligible renewable plants, which was said to be confirmed when ERC issued an Order on June 11 this year. The National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) reportedly overpaid a total amount of P 36.5 million.
“It would be unfair and unjust to pass on this overpayment to consumers and their electricity bills,” Dimagiba said.
Dimagiba also noted that FIT-All is an inflation issue, making it a consumer welfare issue. He then called on ERC to do their part to help cushion the effects of inflation to consumers.
“This is where the Chair can help government temper inflation. By considering FIT-All as a burden to consumers, the Chair can finally rectify and undo mistakes of the government in the past,” he said.
Aside from FIT-All, LKI is also advocating against the TRAIN Law and inflation, urging the government to take immediate action to relieve consumers from soaring prices of basic commodities.