By Francis Allan L. Angelo
Top honchos of Iloilo City’s power distribution utility assured that they continue to look for ways to bring down electricity rates which jacked up recently across the country due to geopolitical and economic reasons.
In fact, consumers of Iloilo City have been experiencing continuous decreases in their electricity bills for three consecutive months.
This positive trend began when MORE Electric and Power Corp reduced the total average rate from 14.84 per kilowatt-hour in the November 2022 billing to 14.68 per kWh in December, which equates to a 15-centavo reduction.
The downward trend continued in January 2023 at 53 centavos per kWh, and was further reduced by another 50 centavos in February 2023. In sum, MORE Power’s rates went down by a total of P1.20 since December 2022.
As of today, the total average rate for residential consumers in Iloilo City is P13.64 per kWh.
The decrease in generation charges can be attributed to the lower prices of coal in the global market and Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), which have been declining in the past three months, and are expected to continue in the coming months.
Niel Parcon, the Vice President for Corporate Planning and Regulatory at MORE Power, explained that the reduction in fuel prices for coal-fired generation companies was due to the continued decline in the Newcastle index, which determines the price of coal in the world market.
“This also proves what we are saying before that the price of coal in the world market greatly influences our generation charge and total average rate. If it increases, our rate increases. If it gets lower, our rates will decrease,” Parcon added.
If this trend continues, Iloilo City residents can expect a more stable and affordable supply of electricity in the coming months, which will bring further relief to consumers’ pockets.
This decrease in electricity rates does not yet include MORE Power’s 20-megawatt geothermal power supply contract with Energy Development Corp, which is much lower than the coal-based supply.
Speaking at the general membership meeting of the Iloilo Business Club last Feb 24, 2023 at Days Hotel-Iloilo, MORE Power President and CEO Roel Castro said they continue to find cheaper power sources like renewables.
Improvements in the distribution system such as the rehabilitation of substations, replacement of transformers, poles, and lines; and integrating modern technologies in the grid will further reduce unscheduled power interruptions.
Castro said lack of power supply is most expensive as it affects businesses and productivity.
“Our 5-year plan is not just to improve our facilities but to bring more justice to the public by providing stable and affordable electricity to all,” he added.