By Myrna M. Velasco – February 12, 2018, 10:00 PM
from Manila Bulletin

With the suspended commissioners of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) temporarily back at their offices, the National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) is expecting that the rate hike on the feed-in-tariff allowance (FIT-All) to P0.2932 per kilowatt hour (kWh) will already be acted upon by the regulatory body.

That will be an increase from what is currently billed at P0.1830 per kWh, basically an increase of P0.1102 per kWh in the FIT-All charge, a separate item in the electric bills.

Melvin A. Matibag

Melvin A. Matibag

As noted by TransCo President Melvin A. Matibag, prior to the suspension of the four commissioners, there was already a commitment then to approve the FIT-All rate hike as early as January this year.

He noted that with the delay in approvals, their backlog in FIT payments to RE developers remained at a whopping R7.0 billion plus.

“We based the FIT payments on billings, and the last payments we’ve made were still June, 2017,” the TransCo chief executive noted.

Beyond the principal amount that had been swelling on unsettled dues, Matibag indicated that interest charges have also been escalating – already reaching P590 million as of the latest reckoning.

He explained that TransCo has a system when it comes to payment of FIT to RE project developers, and that makes the company’s processes strategic and without any leeway for “political accommodation or giving favors to particular project sponsors.”

Matibag asserted that, for instance, if he will ever attempt “to insert any project developer to collect, there would be problem because that will show in the system.”

In the higher FIT rate application, the total collection targeted by TransCo for 2018 will hover at P28.058 billion, inclusive of FIT differential on generation charge of RE facilities for calendar year 2018 amounting to P15.978 billion and FIT under-recovery in 2017 of P8.668 billion.

TransCo intended to start passing on the adjusted FIT-All charges in the consumers electric bills starting January this year.

It stressed in its filing with the ERC that “the grant of provisional authority will allow TransCo to perform its duties to make a timely payment of the FIT rate to RE developers to which they are entitled, thereby allowing their continued operations.

But the ERC said there is no timeframe yet on when they will decide on TransCo’s FIT-All adjustment petition.

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