The Palawan Electric Cooperative (Paleco) this week said they are asking government’s regulatory agencies to exclude from its consumers’ electric bills the added cost of wasted electricity caused by the inefficiency of its power distribution system.
Meeting angry consumers demanding explanations for the frequent brownout and Paleco’s high electric billing rates compared to most cooperatives in the country, Paleco admitted that its consumers have been paying for “systems loss” that is highest in the country, at over 11 percent of the total electricity it is distributing throughout its franchise areas.
Paleco chair Jeffrey Endriga disclosed during a meeting with its members Friday that they have been asking the National Power Corporation (NPC) to shoulder its systems losses instead of passing it on to the consumers.
“On process yung pagtatanggal ng transmission line loss at ipasa na sa National Power Corporation (NPC). We lobby naman, at dahil dyan ay malaki ang mawawala sa atin,” Endriga said.
“Systems loss” which is added as a line item in each consumer’s monthly electric bill, refers to unbilled power caused by pilferage and physical loss of energy when electricity passes through distribution lines. Passing on these charges to consumers is allowed under Republic Act 7832, or the Anti-Electricity and Electric Transmission Lines/Materials Pilferage Act of 1994.
However, Paleco consumers’ systems loss burden, at 11 percent, is already close to the 13 percent ceiling allowed for electric cooperatives to pass on to their consumers through a line item in their monthly electricity bills.
Paleco explained that its systems losses are wasted electricity from its substation transformers, line voltage regulators, primary and secondary conductors, capacitors and distribution transformers.
For the period of January to June 2017 Paleco reported losses of 4,903,170.6 Kwh transmission system loss and 8,913,516.5 Kwh in distribution system loss or a total of 13,816,687.1 Kwh or 11.24% of the total amount of electricity it is distributing throughout its franchise area.
These losses, Paleco claimed, had already gone down following the upgrading of NPC’s 13.8 KV line to 69 KV line which the cooperative had opted to shoulder instead of Napocor.
“Bumababa ang transmission loss from 625 Kwh to only 249 kwh due the said upgrading” Engr. Rez Contribida, head of the PALECO’s anti-pilferage division, said.
“Bakit napakalaki ng system loss ng PALECO na 11%, yung ibang lugar ay 5 % lang?” Cynthia del Rosario of Palawan Alliance for Clean Energy (PACE) asked PALECO officials.
The five ECs which had the lowest system loss are Misamis Oriental I Electric Service, Inc. (Moresco I) with 1.83%; Dinagat Island Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Dielco) with 5.09%; Bohol I Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Boheco I) with 6.05%; Cebu II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Cebeco II) with 6.75%; and Batanes Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Batanelco) with 7.53%. This was according to the data from National Electrification Administration (NEA).
Endriga admitted that there are overloaded transformers due to the increased power demand. For this year, the recorded daily peak demand was 44.7 MW.
The monthly average demand however is increasing. From only 23.2 MW in 2015, it increased to 25.8 MW in 2016, and at present, the recorded average demand is at 27.8 MW.
There are three Independent Power Producers (IPPs) that supply power to Paleco which in turn distributes it to its consumers in Puerto Princesa City, Narra, Aborlan, Quezon, Brooks Point, Espanola and Roxas towns.