February 9, 2023

Residential consumers of the Benguet Electric Cooperative (Beneco) will enjoy lower power rates this May as its overall charges went down to P7.65 per kilowatt hour (kwh) from P7.70 in April.

The decrease may appear minimal but this means that a consumer who paid P770 for using 100 kwh last month will pay P765 this month, ditto for those who used 200 kwh and paid P1,540 in April who will now pay P1,530 instead.

Industrial and commercial establishments will also get their own reprieve as the P6.89 and P6.86 per kwh they paid in April will be reduced to P6.87 and P6.84 per kwh, respectively.

A lower generation charge brought about the dip in cost.

Rowina Damian, Beneco rate analyst, said the charge went down due to the electric cooperative’s exposure in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).

Team Energy, Beneco’s power supplier, purchased for Beneco 3,017,946 kilowatt hours from the spot market at P2.03 per kwh that caused the decrease in the generation rate.

Beneco and Team have an existing power supply contract that allows Team to source out power from the WESM.  

The transmission charges, however, spiked to P0.86 from last month’s P0.71 per kwh. “There was an increase in the ancillary services,” Damian said.

The cooperative, meanwhile, has continued its subsidy for P100 for residential consumers who used 101 to 200 kwh this month. In April, electricity was given free to those who used 30 kwh and below while those who used 31 kwh up to 100 kwh were given a P100 discount.

Beneco had to juggle P15 million to finance the subsidy, called Pantawid Liwanag program, to help lifeline and residential consumers cope with the effect of the enhanced community quarantine.

The Philippine Rural Electric Cooperative Association donated P100,000 to Beneco recently to offset any of the items in the annual budget that were realigned for the Pantawid Liwanag.

Residential consumers who saw the discount were thankful.

Yatae Vevinencia, Jr. of Fairview, Baguio City said, “May mabibili rin ang P100 ko.”

Emiliano Flores, a barangay councilman, said, At least ket makatulong. Diay lang ta saan nga amin ket malibre.” – Delmar Cariño