Oliver 9 0 0 5 min to read

Power users should receive a refund after prices are restored, not a discount.

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Senator: It would be more advantageous if customers also received refunds now that the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has begun resetting transmission wheeling prices, which could result in lower rates.

Senator Risa Hontiveros stated in a news release on Monday that the ERC was required to reimburse customers after overcharging the weighted average cost of capital (WACC) during the fourth regulatory reset period.

WACC is the return a corporation anticipates on capital invested in a venture.

“Ilang taon nang sinisingil ang mga electricity consumers ng higit pa sa kung magkano lang should ang ating ibinabayad,” the speaker said. We need a refund for the years covered by the reset; instead, they are simply proposing to offer a discount on the upcoming bills for the consumers who have been paying more than what is permitted for several years.

Hontiveros said the discount was inappropriate because it was derived from the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines’ excess collections (NGCP).

Energy customers directly pay for the use of transmission facilities required to distribute electricity to homes, businesses, and industries through the transmission wheeling rate, which is reflected in electric bills.

The National Transmission Utility, or NGCP, is permitted to charge users of the high-voltage system a certain amount for transmission rates under the Amended Rules for the Setting Transmission Wheeling Rates for 2023 to 2027, which are intended to balance out transmission regulation.

In a statement last month, ERC chairperson Monalisa Dimalanta noted, “The protracted delay in the reset has not been fair in many respects.”

According to Hontiveros, the fifth regulatory reset should result in a refund rather than a discount from the fourth regulatory reset.

“Napako na sa napakataas na 15% ang WACC rate ng NGCP mula pa noong (The NGCP’s 15% WACC rate has remained unchanged since) 2015,” the statement reads. Nobody should legitimately benefit at someone else’s expense, especially the Filipino people. Let’s treat power users fairly,” she remarked.

Secretary Renato Solidum Jr. stated during Monday’s Finance Sub Committee L hearing that it is preferable to sell raw minerals that require less manufacturing cost rather than converting them into high-grade products due to the high power and capital cost.

Given the right assistance, according to senator Robin Padilla, the DOST can develop lucrative mineral reserves.

Biyong dolyar is the bansa’s utang. Isipin nyo pag nakuha natin ang ang metallic at non-metallic reserves at ang seven trillion dollar na halaga ng oil and gas, tiyak maalis tayo sa utang (Our country has billion-dollar debts. If we get our metallic and non-metallic reserves and USD7 trillion worth of gas and oil, we can be debt-free),” said Padilla.

To reduce the exorbitant cost of electricity, Padilla also brought up the idea of using the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant as a source of energy.

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