Palawan Electric Cooperative’s (PALECO) electricity rates will increase until 2024, after the Energy Regulator Commission (ERC) approved the National Power Corporation’s (NAPOCOR) petition for subsidized generation rate hikes in missionary areas.

The power coop said in a post Friday morning that it initially implemented an increase in the Subsidized Approved Generation Rate (SAGR) in 2022 at P0.7288 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). For 2023, the increase will be at P1.3116/kWh, while it will be P1.7496 per kWh for 2024.

It will start implementing the increase in electricity rates this April, it said, following the decision released by the ERC in Case No. 2018-048 RC and Case No. 2013-191 RC, which were filed by the NPC to increase SAGR for Distribution Utilities (DUs) and New Power Providers (NPPs) under the Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG), which includes PALECO and its power providers.

The subsidized generation rate paid by DUs under NPC-SPUG or for island-provinces such as Palawan is referred to as SAGR.

“Ibig sabihin nito ang totoong halaga ng kuryente o True Cost Generation Rate (TGCR) ay hindi sinisingil sa mga konsumidores bagkus ang SAGR lamang ang sinisingil dahil sa mayroon tayong nakukuhang subsidiya sa pamamagitan ng sinisingil na Universal Charge for Missionary Electrification (UCME) na binabayaran ng lahat ng mga gumagamit ng kuryente sa buong bansa,” PALECO said.

(This means that the true cost generation rate (TGCR) is not charged to consumers, only the subsidized generation rate (SAGR) is charged because we receive a subsidy through the Universal Charge for Missionary Electrification (UCME), which is paid by all electricity consumers nationwide.)

In addition, the ERC also released a decision in Case No. 2013-191 RC on August 4, 2022, concerning NAPOCOR’s petition on the “Recovery from the Universal Charge of the Shortfall in the Missionary Electrification Subsidy for CY2012 and the Corresponding Adjustment of the Universal Charge for Missionary Electrification (UCME).”

Based on the decision, ERC is ordering the DU to collect an additional P0.0239/kWh on the basic rate of UCME, which is valued at P0.1561/kWh.

UCME is levied on all energy consumers, and it is through this that funding for financing missionary regions in the country, such as Palawan, are derived. As a result, only SAGR is paid by the PALECO member-consumer-owner (MCO).

The increase in electricity rates will impact the residents and businesses in Palawan. PALECO and other affected entities are expected to comply with the ERC’s decision and implement the rate increase. Consumers are advised to conserve energy to minimize their electricity bills.