Iloilo City Power Rates: Iloilo City now has the cheapest power rates in major Visayan cities. In a comparative table of power rates covering April this year, MORE Power is clearly way ahead of its league leaving a clear gap between it and its counterparts, Central Negros Electric Cooperative (CENECO) and Visayan Electric Company (VECO) by registering a P10.28 per kWh-rate while the two others, charged P11.11 per kWh and P11.94 per kWh, respectively.
CENECO, which has been operating as a distribution utility since 1976, caters the largest number of consumers in Negros Occidental which includes the cities of Bacolod, Talisay, Silay and Bago and the municipalities of Murcia and Salvador Benedicto.
VECO, for its part, is the second largest electric utility in the country, which serves the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Talisay, and Naga and four municipalities of the greater part of Metro Cebu: Liloan, Consolacion, Minglanilla, and San Fernando.
MORE Power, meanwhile, is the youngest of all distribution utilities in the region, having marked its first year of operations only in February this year. In its initial phase of operations, it was able to bring down the average residential rate to P10.15/kWh from the P11.31/kWh-rate of the former distribution utility, or a P1.16/kWh substantial decrease in the average electricity rate for 12 months.
MORE Power President and COO Roel Castro said that the power company is just living up to its promise to provide the consumers of Iloilo City with effective and cost-efficient electric service. He also cited the support of power producers that help ensure the continuous power supply to Iloilo City during MORE Power’s transition period of operation from the previous distribution utility.
“We invited several power suppliers for the supply of power under a one-year emergency power supply contract as allowed under Section 5 of MORE Franchise and DOE Department Circular and those that responded included Panay Energy Development Corporation with a contracted capacity of 62 MW, KEPCO-SPC Power Corporation with 5MW, and Panay Power Corporation and Aboitiz Power Renewables Incorporated with 20 MW and 10 MW, respectively.”
Under Section 5 of RA 11212, MORE was allowed “to avail of the negotiated procurement of emergency power compliant with the requirements under Section 5 of the MORE Franchise and the Department Of Energy.”
The WESM Factor. Though prices in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) are highly volatile, it is also noteworthy that on average, WESM prices are relatively low especially during off-peak periods. Castro said that MORE Power is actively participating in the WESM and very responsive to the movement of spot market prices.
“Since WESM price is a product of demand-supply interaction, MORE traders are very proactive in managing the Bilateral Contracts vis-à-vis Spot Energy, and reacting to WESM price spikes and price dips, ensuring lower blended generation tariff to the consumers of Iloilo City,” he said.
“Notwithstanding the price spikes in the WESM, MORE Power was able to mitigate this price increase by executing a Contract for the Supply of Electric Energy (CSEE) with Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM),” Castro said in a previous interview as he announced that WESM price in March this year, for example, spiked to P7.58/kWh from P2.27/kWh of the previous month, which could have resulted to a significant increase in the blended generation rate of MORE Power had it not been for the introduction of energy purchased from PSALM.
Full Grid Connection Project. Yesterday, MORE Power inaugurated its 69kV switching station in Brgy. Banuyao, La Paz as part of its full grid connection project, which will further reduce the power rate for the consumers of Iloilo City.
To be energized on May 26, the facility will connect to the Sta. Barbara substation of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) for the 100 percent needed power supply of Iloilo City. Castro said that this time around, MORE Power can now opt for a much cheaper power supply from WESM and Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM).
“The 100% grid connection network is a major challenge but will translate to reduced electricity costs for the consumers of Iloilo,” he was quoted as saying during yesterday’s inauguration.
Relatedly, Castro announced that by January next year, MORE Power will undertake the Competitive Selection Process (CSP) for its long-term power supply required to provide more competitive and better electricity rates to the consumers of Iloilo City.