BAGUIO CITY – The Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) will be increasing its power rates for its various types of consumers in the current billing cycle following the increase in the generation charges of the power generation companies providing the power supply of the rural electric cooperative.
From the previous P7.91 per kilowatthour previously charged to residential consumers, the current residential charge increased to P9.29 per kilowatthour while commercial consumers will be charged P8.52 per kilowatthour from the previous P7.08 per kilowatthour starting in the current billing cycle.
On the other hand, industrial consumers will now be charged P8.49 per kilowatthour from the previous P7.05 per kilowatthour while public buildings will be charged the same rate as industrial consumers.
For streetlights, BENECO will be charging consumers P8.52 per kilowatt hour compared to the previous P7.08 per kilowatthour while high voltagte consumers will be charged P7.18 per kilowatt hour compared to the previous P5.79 per kilowatthour.
Last March billing cycle, the power generation charge billed to BENECO was only P4.01 per kilowatthour but in the succeeding billing cycle, it increased to P5.19 per kilowatthour which compelled the electric cooperative to pass on the reflected increase to its consumers.
Further, the transmission charges billed to BENECO last March was P0.62 per kilowatthour but in the succeeding billing cycle, the same increased to P0.66 per kilowatthour.
The systems loss charge of BENECO also reflected a significant increase from P0.43 per kilowatthour to P0.54 per kilowatthour in the succeeding billing cycle.
However, BENECO’s distribution, supply and metering charges remained at P4.46, P0.53 and P0.32 per kilowatthour, respectively for the March and succeeding billing cycles.
Presidential Decree (PD) 269 which institutionalized the government’s rural electrification program and created the National electrification Administration (NEA) granted to BENECO the franchise to distribute power within Baguio city and Benguet which will be its franchise area for a period of 50 years.
Despite the increase in its power rate for the current billing cycle, BENECO will still continue to maintain its lifeline rate and discount to senior citizens, especially to those consuming less than 100 kilowatthour per month.
BENECO officials explained that the increase in the power rate is simply a pass on of the increased in the generation and transmission charges billed to the rural electric cooperative by the generation and transmission companies.
Bulk of the power supply of BENECO is being sourced from the Sual-based TEM Energy aside from the power being sourced from other renewable energy producing plants in the different parts of Northern Luzon.
Republic Act (RA) 9163 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) allowed the unbundling of the power rates of electric cooperatives and private power distribution companies to allow the consumers to know and understand the charges being collected from them for their monthly power consumption.