Ceneco consumers made to pay P262M

CENECO board president Roy Cordova (center) announces in a press conference on Oct 11, 2017 that the distribution utility will start collecting the P262-million “unnominated contract quantities” from member-consumers starting Oct 25 as ordered by the Energy Regulatory Commission. Joining him are Engineer Leomel Tambanillo (left) manager of Ceneco Corporate Planning Department; and Ceneco General Manager Sulpicio Lagarde (right).

BACOLOD City – Top officials of the Central Negros Electric Cooperative (CENECO) said the power utility will start collecting the P262-million “unnominated contract quantities” from the members-consumers on Oct 25, 2017 unless a restraining order is issued to them.

This, as the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) granted the petition of Kepco Salcon Power Corp. (KSPC) and Ceneco to collect P232,010,090 from the consumers in keeping with their electric power purchase agreement.

Ceneco held a press conference morning of Oct. 11, 2017 to explain the issue.

Consumer groups and the Catholic Church opposed the decision saying consumers will be made to pay for electricity they did not use.

The Social Action Center (SAC) of the Archdiocese of Bacolod opposed the petition but the ERC junked its prayer.

Ceneco President Roy Cordova said “we have no choice but to do so.”

General Manager Sulpicio Lagarde said that they will be facing sanctions and suffer penalties if they will not follow the ERC order.

Lagarde said the P232 million in unnominated quantities will be collected within a 50-month period to cushion its impact on consumers.

“This will mean an increase in the monthly billing by P0.06 to P0.08,” he added.

He said that if the collection has started and the ERC halts it based on the motion for reconsideration filed by the SAC, they will discontinue the collection and reimburse the same to the consumers.

The P232-million will pay for “unnominated quantities” delivered by KSPC from July 2011 to February 2013.

SAC legal counsel Vicente Petierre lll said unnominated quantity is power supply paid by Ceneco to KSPC even when it did not use or need such power.

Wennie Sancho, Power Watch Negros Advocates secretary general, said that the decision of the ERC will result in additional financial burden to Ceneco consumers.

“It is an injustice on the part of the consumers who are being made to pay for the power supply that they did not use,” Sancho said in a position paper.

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