ERC eyes gradual price hikes in off-grid areas

ERC approves Mindanao Transmission Backbone Project

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) is considering a gradual approach to the National Power Corporation’s (NPC) intent to hike power rates in off-grid areas by over Php 1 per kilowatt-hour. 

In a report by the Manila Standard, ERC Chairperson Monalisa Dimalanta stated that NPC is mindful of the commission’s ruling on their petition and may have included alterations in the mode of implementation, such as staggered or phased-in increases. Dimalanta added that it would all be  part of the ERC evaluation. 

Nationwide hearings had been ongoing to deliberate on NPC’s petition for revised subsidized approved generation rates (SAGR) for consumers in off-grid areas. 

These hearings served as a platform for the public to voice questions, concerns, and clarifications regarding the petition, which offered the commission the opportunity to engage with residents in remote areas handled by the NPC Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG).

In addition to this, NPC also highlighted its proposed reduction in the universal charge on missionary electrification (UCME) and the corresponding increase in SAGR, impacting consumers under NPC’s SPUG. 

ERC Commissioner Catherine Maceda stressed the importance of scrutinizing NPC’s rationale behind the determination of the SAGR rate, particularly in assessing consumers’ capacity to pay.