Posts Tagged ‘Electric cooperatives’

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has approved National Electrification Administration’s P24-billion loan to Siaorgao Island’s power utility.

ERC, in a decision, gave NEA the go signal to lend out the said amount to Siargao Island Electric Cooperative Inc. (Siarelco).

“The loan to be secured by Siarelco from the NEA will redound to the benefit of its customers in terms of continuous, reliable and efficient power supply,” the ERC said.

A known tourist destination, Siargao needs every support it could get from the government.

At present, Siarelco services the electricity needs of Siargao Island in the province of Surigao del Norte.

According to ERC, proceeds from the loan would be used by Siarelco to finance its capital expenses for the next the period 2009 to 2011

Siarelco’s capital expenditures for the three-year period include the upgrade of power lines, replacement of electric wooden poles and inefficient transformers, inter-looping of power system and the acquisition of a substation circuit breaker.

Siarelco had been complaining of lack of funds which caused the deterioration of its services to its customers.

In April this year, Siarelco said its customers had to suffer a week-long blackout due to failure of its underwater power cables.

Based on the approved loan terms with NEA, Siarelco will pay within 15 years at an initial interest rate of 4.5 percent. The succeeding rates after the first release will be nine percent per year.

NEA is an attached agency of the Department of Energy (DOE), tasked with providing financial, technical, institutional and supervisory functions over electric cooperatives.

So far, NEA had revealed over P6 billion worth of loans to a number of ECs all over the country.

There are about 119 ECs nationwide, most of them serving the far flung areas not being serviced by big power distribution utilities.



Read Full Post »

The National Electrification Administration (NEA) has intensified its efforts to rehabilitate electric cooperatives (ECs) in line with the recent mandate of Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras.

The Energy chief had directed NEA to take steps to enable ECs to operate under a restructured power industry. NEA said they have already been implementing programs for ECs for this purpose.

For instance, it said the agency has deployed a management team to provide assistance to the Tawi-Tawi Electric Cooperative, Inc. (TAWELCO), a debt-ridden and problem-plagued electric distribution utility in Southern Philippines.

Since its assumption in April 2009, the Management Team has instituted various programs to address the existing problems such as high systems loss, rampant electricity pilferages and human resource/institutional instability.

One of the strategic initiatives adopted was the Meter Installation Standardization Program (MISP).

The MISP was intended to lessen, if not eliminate the relentless connivance between meter readers and consumers to underread the meters thus, resulting to high-system losses.

In order to implement the program, NEA extended a concessional loan amounting to P11.6 million at an interest rate of four percent to fund the replacement of 5,645 old and defective kilowatt-hour meters to more efficient and accurate digital/electronic ones.

Significant reduction on system loss of about 13.71 percent has been attained since the Program was implemented in April 2009.

The reduction meant savings of around R1.698 million. Aside from this initiative, TAWELCO has been continuously conducting anti-pilferage
campaign wherein some 500 consumers were apprehended and penalized to date.

The Team also addressed the problem on erring personnel through strict implementation of its Employees Code of Ethics. Suspensions and terminations were already effected.

“NEA will always be behind these ECs which need assistance. It is our mission to provide a more reliable and efficient electricity service in order to create a better and more comfortable live for the people in the rural areas, like Tawi-Tawi. Thus, we hope that the reforms that have been introduced and being implemented by our NEA Management Team, headed by Engr. Hector Tabilisima will be sustained by TAWELCO in the future,” NEA Administrator Edita S. Bueno said.

TAWELCO has attained 100 percent barangay energization in 2009 through on-grid and off-grid electrification schemes. It serves 10,918 consumer connections as of July 31, 2010. (JAL)


Read Full Post »

NATIONAL GRID Corporation of the Philippines may soon start disconnecting from the grid distribution utilities and electric cooperatives in Luzon that have failed to register with the wholesale electricity spot market, following the issuance of an energy department circular.

The circular prescribed the implementing rules and regulations which relieved National Power Corp. and Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) of their obligations to supply power to the WESM as default wholesale suppliers (DWS).

As a consequence, non-WESM members will have to be cut off from the system.

With the circular, the DOE said it was expecting that leakages in the electric power system would be minimized, if not avoided, as those entities that were illegally drawing from and injecting power to the grid would be easily identified and disconnected.
The membership of all the electric power industry participants, especially the distribution utilities, in the WESM will ensure level playing field in the industry, the DOE said.

All distribution utilities and electric cooperatives—which are non-WESM members and are getting part of their electricity requirements from WESM through Napocor—were earlier required to register with the spot market within a 90-day period.

Those that failed to do so will soon be issued a notice of disconnection—which meant that they can no longer draw their electricity requirements from WESM via Napocor.

Five days after receiving the notice, they will then be cut off from the system.

Under the implementing rules, NGCP should implement the disconnection after all the procedures and mitigating measures have been exhausted and complied with.

As provided under the IRR, power distribution firms may seek deferment of the disconnection under certain conditions. If they had already been cut off, they can also request reconnection to the system for as long as they have complied with the given requirements.

In case they cannot register with the WESM, the DOE has urged utilities and cooperatives to at least enter into new bilateral contracts with power generation firms or other service providers to ensure the continuous supply of electricity.

Since 2006, Napocor and PSALM have been delegated as DWS, or the entity that provides electricity supply to cover the demand of customers that are not direct participants of the WESM.


Read Full Post »

The registration shift of some electric cooperatives to the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) will redound to P0.29 to P0.40 per kilowatt hour (kWh) reduction in their electricity rates due to value added tax (VAT) exemptions set under a governing policy.

In a press conference, APEC Secretary General Luis Manuel Corral noted that the key benefit of shifting registration to the CDA as compared previously with the National Electrification Administration (NEA) will be the lower rates that electric cooperatives can pass on to their customers. The VAT exemption will be on the distribution components of the rates.

Out of the 119 electric cooperatives in the country though, there are just 12 ECs which are currently registered with the CDA and the rest are still under the National Electrification Administration. These include Negros Occidental Electric Coop.; Palawan Electric Coop; San Jose Electric Coop; Quirino Electric Coop; Pangasinan Electric Coops I and III; Isabela Electric Coop; Sorsogon Electric Coop; Nueva Vizcaya Electric Coop; Negros Oriental II Electric Coop and Abra Electric Coop.

“It is still their choice not to register with the CDA but they would have to explain to their customers why they can’t bring down their rates,” Corral noted.

Palawan Electric Cooperative Inc. general manager Ponciano D. Payuyo surmised that many of their counterparts are still adamant from getting out of NEA’s domain perhaps due to “the bigger responsibility and the call for transparency” that they would need to adhere to if they shift registration.


Read Full Post »

BACOLOD CITY — Negros island’s five electric cooperatives will launch a partnership to ensure power supply next week.

To be launched on July 2, the Negros-Power Supply Aggregation Group is composed of the Central Negros Electric Cooperative (CENECO), the V-M-C Rural Electric Service Cooperative (VRESCO), Negros Occidental Electric Cooperative (NOCECO), the Negros Oriental Electric Cooperative I (NORECO) and the Negros Oriental Electric Cooperative II.

Edward Gasambelo, chairman of the group, said plans of creating an aggregate group started years ago on the premise that “there is strength in numbers.”

“The power shortage in the Negros Island is a pressing concern that we should collectively solve immediately,” Mr. Gasambelo said.

The group, as a legal entity representing the five electric cooperatives, will jointly enter into contracts with generating companies and wholesalers to provide cheap power.

The venture is expected to foster a stronger negotiating power for the group, they said in a memorandum of agreement signed by Mr. Gasambelo with VRESCO President Armando Valmayor, NOCECO President John Peter Milan, NORECO I President Anito Mercado, and NORECO II President Lennie Joy Alviola.

Daily rotating brownouts have plagued Negrenses in the past three months, particularly those under the CENECO coverage areas, as generator Green Core Geothermal, Inc. conducts maintenance operations on its Palinpinon plants in Valencia, Negros Oriental.

Since May 19, the CENECO management has been advised by Green Core on power interruptions until yesterday due to preventive maintenance work.

The recent daily rotating brownouts in Bacolod City and its neighboring areas, which have eventually decreased in the past days, came on the heels of similar power interruptions in April when Green Core also conducted preventive maintenance work to prepare for the May 10 elections.

Green Core has a total rated capacity of 192.5 megawatts for its two Palinpinon plants, but both plants have a dependable capacity of only 173 MW — 97 MW from Palinpinon I and 76 MW from Palinpinon II.

CENECO sources 100% of its 100-MW power requirement from Green Core, which also supplies 22 MW to VRESCO in northern Negros, and 2 MW to Gaisano City mall in Bacolod. The surplus is supplied to Panay and other areas in Negros Island.

Manolo Candelaria, Green Core power and steam sales deputy manager, said in a statement that the contracts inherited from the National Power Corp. did not require nor prepare customers to source out replacement power during preventive maintenance work.

As the electric cooperatives lacks reserves, any breakdown or preventive maintenance work results in manual load shedding, he said.

“The immediate solution is for electric cooperatives to find replacement power to bridge the power supply gap in the [Visayas] region and for existing power generators to keep their facilities in good condition,” Mr. Candelaria said.


Read Full Post »

THE ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION has allowed Sorsogon II Electric Cooperative Inc. (Soreco II) to continue operating its 448-kilowatt mini hydroelectric power plant in Sorsogon.

According to the ERC, it renewed the company’s certificate of compliance (COC) after finding it compliant to technical, financial and environmental standards that are specified in the ERC guidelines.

“Soreco II was also found to have stayed within the market share and cross-ownership limitations prescribed in the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira) to prevent market abuse. The renewed COC of Soreco II is valid for another five years,” the ERC said.

Soreco II does not operate other facilities than the hydroelectric power plant, which has a total installed capacity of 448 kW, representing 0.004 percent of the market share of the Luzon grid. The limit for the grid has been set at 30 percent. It has 0.003 percent of the national market share, where the limit is set at 25 percent.

The hydroelectric facility was originally owned by state-run National Power Corp. (NPC) and was bought by the distribution utility in July 2005 from Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM).

It is a run-of-river plant that relies on the Cawayan River. Its generated electricity goes through the rural electric cooperative’s 13.2-kilovolt distribution system for routing to its customers.

“The ERC is pleased to know that Soreco II has been able to maintain (the plant) in good running condition. It first started commercial operations in 1959 and has been using the renewable and non-polluting forces of the Cawayan River since then,” said ERC chair and CEO Zenaida G. Cruz-Ducut.


Read Full Post »

About 33 electric cooperatives in Mindanao jointly filed their petitions with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for guidance and intervention to lessen the “impact of transmission rate increase on ancillary service charge and regulated transmission services” imposed by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) to electric cooperatives in Mindanao.

The electric cooperatives asked the ERC to intervene with the NGCP to “spread out their billing on ancillary service charge into six months or one-year time in order for them to lessen the impact of transmission rate increase.”

Earlier, the NGCP had imposed a 66 percent transmission rate increase on ancillary service charge and regulated transmission services to at lest 33 electric cooperatives in Mindanao beginning on billing period of March this year.

Major electric cooperatives in Mindanao – Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (Zamcelco), Agusan del Norte Electric Cooperative (Aneco), South Cotabato Electric Cooperative, Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative, and Davao del Sur Electric Cooperative have jointly filed their petitions with ERC chair Zenaida G. Cruz-Ducut seeking her help by interceding in the said crisis, hoping to lessen the impact of transmission rate increase imposed by NGCP.

“We are only asking to give us ample time to pay the additional charges imposed by the NGCP,” cooperative executives said.

Some electric cooperatives are also bent to file a petition in the lower court on the alleged abrupt imposition of transmission cost increase by the NGCP.


Read Full Post »

Older Posts »