By CHENG ORDONEZ
SEVERAL distribution utilities in Mindanao claimed they are not only being charged in excess of approved generation rates, but are also being charged for power supply that was not delivered and are bent on rejecting the billing statement issued by the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC).
In a letter to the PEMC, Engineer David A. Tauli, president of the Mindanao Coalition of Power Consumers (MCPC), cited the case of a local utility which claimed that it has not nominated or purchased any energy from the Interim Mindanao Electricity Market (IMEM), yet has been issued a billing statement.
Tauli said the power bills sent by the PEMC to the cooperatives makes it clear what the MCPC and others have been saying all along that: (1.) the IMEM is pernicious to Mindanao power consumers (because the PEMC is making the consumers pay rates three times greater than ERC-approved generation rates, for energy that was not supplied or used, and (2.) the IMEM cannot attain the purposes for which it was designed by the DOE, which is to enable embedded generators to supply power to the Grid in period of power shortages. None of the embedded generators injected power supply to the Grid during the November-December billing period, he added.
Although there were no power curtailments by the grid operator National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) during the subject billing period, Tauli said the PEMC is claiming in the power bills that the IMEM supplied power to the electric cooperatives even during off-peak periods, contrary to its intended purpose.
Primarily, the MCPC is questioning the creation of the IMEM, which is not included under the EPIRA Law of 2001, but was created by an executive order from the Department of Energy, thereby usurping the powers of Congress, Tauli claimed.
“The IMEM Rules require the electric coops to obtain their power supply from the IMEM whenever there is a deficit between their contracted power supply and their actual hourly demand. This is the reason why the PEMC considered it appropriate to bill the electric coops for the power supply that the ECs supposedly obtained from the IMEM in the period November 26 to December 25, 2013, even though the ECs submitted zero nominations in that period,” Tauli said.