Consumer group bewails new universal charges for raising electricity prices

2019-04-09 23:03:08

P.O. Box 1161, QCCPO, NCR, Philippines 1100



Cell No.    : +63 917-812-5546

Email        : labankonsyumer@gmail.com

                  : dimagibavic@gmail.com

                  : dmagiba@pldtdsl.net

Facebook: Laban Konsyumer Inc.

Website    : www.labankonsyumer.com


LKI 17th Press Statement

April 10, 2019



CONSUMER GROUP BEWAILS NEW UNIVERSAL CHARGES FOR      RAISING ELECTRICITY PRICES 


The consumer group , Laban Konsyumer Inc. called out the new universal charges component of the electricity bill for raising price of electricity.


Vic Dimagiba, LKI President ,  pointed out that “while  the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) prominently  announced that the Feed-in Tariff Allowance (FIT-All) was decreased by P0.0337 per kWh effectiive the April 2019  billing,  the Universal Charge of  NPC Stranded Debts was adjusted upward without any such  announcement from the ERC , which resulted in net increase of P0.0163 per kWh  This shows that Universal Charge worsened the problem for consumers and raised the price of electricity for customers.”


The group said that “for the April 2019 rates, in addition to the other contributors to increase in generation charge, there was an increase in the Universal Charge for NPC’s stranded debt. 


ERC isssued  the Order and it was merely  posted on their website. This is sad news because it was wrong timing that while FIT-All went down, the effects of this decrease were unfortunately offset by the increase in Universal Charge. The corresponding increase magnified and made the situation worse for consumers and the price of electricity that they will have to pay. This month of April , we can definitely blame the universal charge for the rise  in prices, which was a total of P0.0633 per kWh in rates and an increase of around P13 in the total bill of a typical household consuming 200kwh.”


LKI explained the ERC approved in July 2017 a UC-SD rate of P0.0265/kWh for recovery by NPC of its Stranded Debt for 2011 and 2012. This was reflected in the electric bills of customers in August 2017. The approved UC-SD amount was P24.2 Billion for recovery over 9 years from electricity consumers in Luzon, Mindanao and Visayas grids.


 On March 28, 2019, the ERC posted in its website its ruling approving a new UC-SD rate of P0.0428/kWh. It is not difficult to see that the Universal Charge and its increase has a major effect on the rise in power prices. And our group calls this out as it offset the reduction in FIT-All.


Dimagiba continued that”the approved amount for UC-SD increased to P36.7 Billion or P0.0163/kWh higher than the July 2017 level. The ERC recomputed its previously approved fuel and purchased power costs. The new UC-SD  rate was thus reflected in the electric bills of customers this month, and the higher UC-SD added to the increase of power bills and rates this month, negatively affecting consumer welfare and raising their costs.


In Congress is the pending Murang Kuryente Bill that  earmarks the Malampaya royalty as a form of subsidy that will absorb the NPC stranded debts and contract costs. 


However , the consumer group reiterates its earlier appeal  that the new Congress repeals   the EPIRA law and put a full stop  passing on the universal charges of NPC  to the  consumers.  The new Congress  should decide on the “fate” of these debts and costs.


Recently, DTI  issued certificate of recognition to LKI  as a consumer organization at  the local level . LKI is a full menber of the Consumers International.


For any inquiries or concerns, you may reach LKI President Vic Dimagiba at 0917-812-5546. Visit our updated website at www.labankonsyumer.com










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