30 December 2014

Subic Enerzone seeking higher power tariff at P1.5625/kwh

Subic Enerzone Corporation, which has been serving more industrial-dense subscribers primarily in the freeport zone, is seeking an upward adjustment in its power distribution tariff to P1.5625 per kilowatt-hour (kwh) from what was previously approved at P1.4905 per kwh.

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), in its notice for publication of the SEZ’s filing, noted that the distribution firm has recomputed its maximum average price (MAP) for regulatory year 2015 and it arrived at a higher figure.

The ERC emphasized that in the rate translation, the SEZ “has recalculated the MAP for the regulatory year 2015, without taking into account side constraints, at P1.5625 per kwh.”

For residential customers of SEZ, it was laid down that the estimated distribution charge will amount to P1.8815 per kwh; supply charge will be at P0.2414 per kwh; while metering charge will be at P0.1981 per kwh.”

To the level of the industrial end-users, SEZ’s proposed pass-on rates will be: P0.6346 per kwh; P301.81 per kilowatt; supply charge at P4,919 per customer/month; and metering charge at P1,758.94 per customer/month.

The SEZ has noted that “the approval of the instant application will allow it to fulfill its obligations under the PBR (performance-based regulation)” – referring to the methodology in setting electricity tariffs for regulated power entities.

It added that an immediate regulatory approval shall also allow it to “implement in a timely manner its capex (capital expenditures) and OPEX (operating expenses) programs for the regulatory year 2015.”

If that is accomplished, the Subic utility firm stressed that it would be able to “avoid losses which may ultimately result in the deterioration of services to its customers.”

The ERC thus scheduled a public hearing on the SEZ’s recalculated tariff application on January 9, 2015 at the Subic Freeport Zone in Olongapo City.

“SEZ and all interested parties are directed to submit, at least five days before the date of the initial hearing and pre-trial conference, their respective pre-trial briefs,” the ERC has stipulated in its hearing notice.

This is already the fourth year of the utility firm’s second regulatory reset under the forward-looking approach of rate regulation via the PBR scheme. (Myrna Velasco, Manila Bulletin)