Gatchalian urges ERC to create periodic review for system loss cap

Gatchalian urges ERC to create periodic review for system loss cap

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) is urged to execute a periodic review of the system loss program to encourage efficiency among the power distributors.

“The ERC should have a regular mechanism that will study the system loss every so often,” Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said.

System loss is the unbilled power caused by the pilferage and physical loss of energy when power passes through distribution lines, which can be passed on to consumers.

Currently, the system loss cap is 8.5 percent for privately – owned utilities and 13 percent for electric cooperatives. This cap has been in place since 2008.

“The last caps are still in the 2008 levels. The ERC can do a review of the program at shorter intervals. The utilities are now more efficient in power generation and distribution because they are already equipped and very knowledgeable on how to reduce their system losses,” Gatchalian said.

The ERC is already assessing the system loss program as they will begin public consultations and group discussions on the proposed new caps given by a third party which reviewed documentary submissions of DUs and ECs.

If approved, the implementation of the new system loss cap will be on 2019 for distribution facilities, and 2020 for electric cooperatives.

The next assessment will follow after four years for private utilities, and six years for rural cooperatives.

Gatchalian said that the ERC should quicken the assessment on the program to facilitate the early implementation of the new system loss cap that will lessen the charges that private DU and ECs can pass to their consumers.

“There must be a way that the caps can be changed more regularly. Remember that a day saved is a day advantage to the consumers. Consumers should not continue to be burdened with a high cost of system inefficiency,” the senator said.

Through Republic Act 7832, or the Anti – Electricity and Electric Transmission Lines/Materials Pilferage Act of 1994, the system loss can be passed on to consumers through a line item on their monthly electric bills.