DOE on info campaign for proposed uniform electricity bill

Increase in power rates seen as effect of TRAIN law

The Department of Energy (DOE) has launched an information campaign on the proposed Uniform Monthly Electricity Bill Format as part of its commitment to empowering consumers.

This aims to inform consumers on the Unbundling of Electricity Rates and the Proposed Uniform Electricity Bill Format of all distribution utilities and electric cooperatives.

“The topmost element in achieving this [public service] is through greater transparency. This is the core message for today’s pivotal event that would spark reform in the consumer’s electric bill,” DOE undersecretary Petronilo Ilagan said.

This movement follows DOE secretary Alfonso Cusi’s directive to fully implement consumer welfare provisions under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act – particularly Section 36 on the Unbundling of Rates and Functions under the said law.

Under the law, power industry participants are required to functionally and structurally unbundle its business activities and rates in accordance with the sectors – whether generation, transmission, and supply – and should reflect the costs of each service.

“We anchor this activity on empowering all electricity consumers. We need to equip them with accurate information as provided in the monthly electric bill to enable them to manage their electricity consumption more efficiently,” Ilagan said.

The DOE also highlighted on the bill deposit – a requirement for consumers by DUs of new and/or additional service which is equivalent to the estimated billing for one month.

The bill deposit is currently not included in the monthly billing statement.

Another is the “ancillary services,” which are needed by the transmission sector to maintain stability and security in the grid.

In 2007, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) issued policy that requires all DUs and ECs to post the breakdown of their generation charges, including (but not limited to) their sources, in their respective websites.