The National Electrification Administration (NEA) sees minimal power rate hikes in the provinces following the effect of higher coal taxes brought by the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.
Electric Cooperative (EC) consumers may expect price adjustment in their electricity bills by March but it will be nominal as not all distribution utilities derive their power sources purely from coal.
“On the average, customers of ECs consume 136 kilowatt-hour (kwh). That’s equivalent to P680 and P700 in their monthly bills. The impact of the coal tax is only around 70 centavos lang per bill,” Masongsong said.
“The price of a text or candy is more expensive than the impact of coal tax since it is only very minimal addition in electricity rates,” he added.
74 of the 121 ECs operating are purchasing energy out of coal-fired power plants. Only 47 of them are using more than 50 percent of their electricity requirements.
Many ECs are making their transition to renewable energy in line with the government thrust.
But, NEA will be on the lookout for ECs that may take advantage of the higher coal excise tax to jack up electricity rates, considering that 30 to 50 percent of their baseload comes from coal.
NEA will also be scrutinizing the terms of reference of every power supply agreements of ECs through its Regulatory Affairs Office to steer them away from contracts that may be disadvantageous to its member-consumer-owners.