The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said P20 billion has been refunded to customers since last year after distribution utilities (DUs) were ordered to return over recoveries in the pass-through and distribution charges, among other fees.
“Upon evaluation and verification of the reportorial requirements submitted, the commission approved and directed the concerned distribution utilities to refund a total amount of P20,145,890,691.21 to their respective customers,” said Agnes Devanadera, ERC chairperson and chief executive officer.
In a statement, Devanadera said other sources of the refund were from discounts granted to customers and market transaction fees.
Last year, customers experienced rate reductions pf P0.0025 to P0.9118 per kilowatt hour (kWh) in Luzon; P0.0028 to P1.3182 per kWh in Visayas; and P0.0151 to P0.9118 per kWh in Mindanao.
This year, rate reductions were P0.0014 to P1.5064 per kWh in Luzon; P0.0088 to P0.5719 per kWh in Visayas; and P0.0070 to P0.4348 per kWh in Mindanao.
As for Manila Electric Co. and Cagayan Electric Power and Light Co., refund rates were P0.1528 per kWh and P0.0268 per kWh, representing over recoveries in distribution charges.
Rate reductions from market transaction fees reached around P0.0029 per kWh to P0.0039 per kWh.
“The P20- billion refund that the Commission approved is aimed to provide some rate relief, especially to those electricity consumers that were economically disadvantaged due to the limited operation or closure of some businesses,” Devanadera added.
Devanadera added DUs are urged to exercise empathy by allowing more flexible forms of payment for customers, such as staggered payment agreements without penalties or interests. – Jed Macapagal