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An Independent View
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
I AM pleased that the Central Negros Electricity Co-operative (Ceneco) is not keen on implementing the Interruptible Load Program (ILP).
This scheme is designed to mitigate the effects of a potential power shortage. At present, Luzon is comfortable but the supply situation in the Visayas is becoming tight. The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) is transferring 50 MW from Luzon to Visayas to ease the situation here.
It is therefore not currently necessary for Ceneco to invoke ILP. This is a scheme where those with large generators will augment the electricity supplied to Ceneco in order to obviate the rotating brownouts that we suffered, especially in the summer of 2010. Ceneco’s President Arnel Lapore says that the ILP scheme would present contractual challenges. We agree. As is so often the case the devil is in the details.
Ceneco is a cooperative and its Board is comprised of those who have been successful in elections in which Ceneco’s member-consumers are eligible to vote.
As a result we expect the Ceneco Board to make its best efforts on behalf of Ceneco’s consumers.
We were unrelaxed last October when a joint application by Kepco SPC Power Corporation (KSPC) and Ceneco was put to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). Atty Vicente Petierre III did not agree with the application and made representations to ERC on behalf of the Bacolod Sanggunian. He was supported by Bayan Muna provincial coordinator Alejandro Deoma.
Kepco is now seeking to change the terms of its contracts with Ceneco so that we shall have to pay more. ERC has set a hearing for this application on Friday, May 30. The hearing will be heard in Ceneco’s offices. We hope that Kepco will provide cogent reasons for the increased charges they propose. We were not happy with last October’s application because it meant that we were to be penalized for electricity that we, Ceneco’s consumers, had not consumed.
We would like to see more evidence that Ceneco supports its consumers and that, consequently, its relationship with Kepco is, of necessity, somewhat adversarial as any supplier/customer relationship should be. Ceneco seems to be too cozy with Kepco to the disadvantage of Ceneco’s customers.
We hope the ERC hearing will explain why it is necessary for Kepco, with Ceneco’s agreement, to change the terms of the contracts of 2007 and July 2011 which were freely entered into.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on May 28, 2014.