ERC urged to take action on FIT-All payment backlogs

ERC urged to take action on FIT-All payment backlogs

The National Transmission Corporation (Transco) is urging the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to act on its petitions as it still has over P7-billion worth of backlog in payments to renewable energy developers under the Feed-in-tariff (FIT) system.

ERC, as the FIT-allowance fund (FIT-All) administrator, has an outstanding balance of P7.5 billion as of October 5.

That is seven months’ worth of backlog payments to RE developers, Transco president and CEO Melvin Matibag said.

The current balance is lower versus the P8.1 billion outstanding balance in July since the commission approved Transco’s petition to increase the FIT-All rate to 18.3 centavos per kilowatt hour (kwh) in May, Matibag said.

However, the said approval – which was implemented on electricity bills last June – is not enough to cover all the payments and interests payments to developers.

Transco has applied for another increase in the FIT – All rate for 2017. The company is now asking to increase the rate to 22 centavos per kwh.

But before the ERC could even give a decision on the 2017 rate, Transco has filed another petition to hike the collection from consumers to 29.32 centavos per kwh.

Matibag added that ERC has not been negligent on the collections as it has 99 percent collection efficiency, but the backlog is a result of regulatory lag.

Transco earlier proposed to borrow the outstanding balance and more from multilateral lenders like Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and World Bank.

This has been approved-in-principle by DOE secretary Alfonso Cusi and welcomed by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, Matibag said before.