BAGUIO CITY March 19 – Power rates for residential and commercial consumers in Baguio City and Benguet will slightly increase by P0.07 and P0.10, respectively, per kilowatt-hour this March billing period because of the increase in the generation charge triggered by the implementation of the excise tax on coal.
Based on the rates released by the Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) for its March billing period, residential consumers, whether or not qualified for the 5 percent senior citizens discount, will be billed P7.76 per kilowatt-hour for their consumption compared to the P7.69 per kilowatt-hour which they were billed the previous month while commercial consumers will be billed P6.93 per kilowatt-hour for their consumption compared to their previous billing in February which was P6.83 per kilowatt-hour.
The generation charge that had been billed to BENECO for March was P4.0328 per kilowatt-hour which was much higher compared to the P4.0097 per kilowatt-hour generation charge that had been billed the rural electric cooperative last February.
Further, transmission charge for March also increased to P0.6407 per kilowatt-hour compared to the P0.6134 per kilowatt-hour charge that was passed on to the consumers last February.
On the other hand, systems loss charge for March slightly increased to P0.4450 per kilowatt-hour compared to the P0.4397 per kilowatt-hour last February.
However, distribution, supply and metering charges remained at P0.4613, P0.5376 and P0.3205, respectively per kilowatt-hour for both billing periods.
Low voltage industrial establishments will be billed P6.8999 per kilowatt-hour compared to the P6.8026 per kilowatt-hour billing last February while low voltage public building and streetlights will be billed P6.9035 and P6.9313, respectively, per kilowatt-hour for March compared to the P6.8062 and P6.8340, respectively, per kilowatt-hour billing last February.
High voltage commercial and public buildings will be billed P5.6299 and P5.6021, respectively, per kilowatt-hour for the March billing period compared to the P5.5883 and P5.5605, respectively, per kilowatt-hour billing last month.
BENECO officials explained the increase in the generation charge was triggered by the implementation of the increased excise tax for coal from P100 per cubic meter to P150 per cubic meter starting January 6 this year following the implementation of the government’s Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) as the electric cooperative gets bulk of its power supply from the Sual-based coal-fired power plant operated by the Tokyo Energy and Marubeni (TEAM) Energy Corporation.
Despite the increase in the power rates for March, BENECO remains to be one of the rural electric cooperatives charring its consumers with the lowest power cost where its power rate is even much lower compared to the different private distribution utilities having larger number of consumers and wider and much feasible franchise areas.
Part of BENECO’s franchise area are non-viable areas situated in remote parts of Benguet which warrants the delivery of quality but cheap power pursuant to the government’s mandate to implement rural electrification that will spur economic activities in the countryside.