Bacolod City, Philippines - Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez has called for the imposition of a price cap on electricity rates in response to recent increases that have impacted consumers in Bacolod City and across Negros Occidental.

According to Philippines News Agency, during a Monday press conference, he has reached out to the Department of Energy for guidance on enforcing a price ceiling as permitted under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) and regulated by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). This move comes as residents face soaring power rates from the Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco) and other local utilities.

Ceneco, which serves Bacolod City along with Bago, Talisay, Silay, and the municipalities of Murcia and Don Salvador Benedicto, announced a substantial increase in its May billing. Rates jumped by PHP3.2066 per kilowatt hour (kWh), from PHP11.9566 to PHP15.1632, primarily due to a 31.96 percent increase in generation charges linked to higher Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) prices.

Similarly, the Negros Occidental Electric Cooperative (Noceco), covering the southern part of the province, and the Northern Negros Electric Cooperative (Noneco) both reported rate increases of PHP3.33 per kWh. Noceco’s rates climbed from PHP14.6309 in April to PHP17.9609 in May, while Noneco’s rates rose to PHP17.8974 from PHP14.5674 in the same period. Both cooperatives attributed the hikes to significant increases in the cost of electricity purchased from the spot market.

By admin