Ceneco faces overpricing allegations


Consumer group Power Watch Negros has raised concerns of overcontracting among power supply agreements by Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco) with some power generators.

This was revealed during a dialogue with Power Watch Negros secretary general Wennie Sancho with some officials of the Ceneco, according to a Sunstar report.

Sanco said the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) established that from July 29, 2011 to November 25, 2013, Ceneco contracted 59,710,493-kilowatt hour (kWh), which is about P232 million in access of its actual requirement.

Out of 262,800,000 contracted energy, only 139,284,000 kWh or 53 percent was utilized by the cooperative.

Sancho claimed that the financial effect of overcontracted power deals caused the consumers to shoulder P547 million.

Around P232 million is with the KSPC while the remaining P315 million is with Filinvest Development Corp. Utilities Inc. (FDCUI).

In addition. consumers will be burdened with more if the ERC approves FDCUI’s differential billing amounting to P146.7 million.

Sancho also claimed the financial loss of P378 million for the 20-megawatt power agreement with FDCUI may have already been charged to the customers, while the P146.7 million differential recovery is still pending with the ERC.

“If we shall not expose and oppose overcontracting syndicate scheme by enterprising and devious individuals, the member-consumers will not only be shackled by the tremendous financial burden,” Sancho was quoted in a Sunstar report.

“Our rights as consumers were also blatantly violated by unscrupulous individuals who pretend to be protectors of consumers’ interest but are in fact are wolves in sheep’s clothing,” he added.

The Ceneco management still claimed that there was no overcontracting on its PSAs with other power generation utilities.

Ceneco corporate planning division manager engineer Norman Pollentes said all PSAs Ceneco entered will not be implemented without the approval of ERC.

Pollentes added that the contracts are to subject under the authority and credibility of the ERC. But it should stop the consumers to raise their concerns.

“Once these are already entered contracts, the venue should be the ERC which, under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira), has the sole authority for all issues raised against power industry,” Pollentes said.

Pollentes also said that the decisions of the Board of Directors (BOD) in the past were based on a lot of considerations, including economic factors.

“Reliability is an additional factor that we considered in power supply contracting,” he said,

 “We cannot afford to contract cheaper power supply but not reliable,” he added.

Meanwhile, Sancho still said “there’s really an overcontracting as proven in the case of KSPC.”

“Our intention is to get the cooperation of a people-management Board of Directors to prevent possible overcontracting in the future,” he added.