BAGUIO CITY – Power rates charged by the Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) for its member-consumer-owners (MCOs) slightly increased during the August billing period following the increase in the transmission and systems loss charges.
From the P9.4695 per kilowatt-hour residential rate in July, this increased to P9.5632/kwh in August that reflected an increase of P0.0937/kwh increase in the power bills of consumers.
Based on the unbundled rates, the transmission charge of P0.8334/kwh in July increased to P0.8719/kwh in August or an increase of P0.0385/kwh for the said period.
Further, BENECO’s systems loss charge of P0.5935/kwh in July increased to P0.6108/kwh in August or an increase of P0.0173/kwh during the same period.
On the other hand, BENECO’s commercial low voltage rate of P8.7500/kwh in July also increased to P8.8521/kwh this month or an increase of P0.1021/kwh while the industrial rate of P8.7186/kwh last month was also up to P8.8207/kwh.
Moreover, the public building low voltage rate of P8.7222/kwh in July increased by P0.1021/kwh this month or around P8.8243/kwh that was billed to the said category of consumers.
For streetlights, BENECO’s charge of P8.7500/kwh in July increased to P8.8521/kwh in August or an increase of P0.1021/kwh increase that was reflected on the updated power bills of consumers.
The commercial high voltage rate increased by P0.0503/kwh in the August power bills from P7.2055/kwh in July to P7.2558/kwh this month while public building high voltage rate also increased by P0.0503/kwh from the July rate of P7.1777kwh to P7.2280/kwh this month.
BENECO continues to maintain its status as among the few electric cooperatives in the country that charges the cheapest power rate from its consumers amidst its present leadership impasse that continues to affect its overall performance.
The electric cooperative’s power rates are comparable to the charges being imposed by private power distribution utilities that are much bigger than the said cooperative in terms of the number of consumers and the area of coverage.
The ability of BENECO to charge the cheapest power rates amidst its present situation where it has to provide cheap and quality electricity to non-viable areas within its franchise area, especially in the remote villages of Benguet, allowed BENECO to be categorized as Class AAA or one of the top performing rural electric cooperatives in the country.
BENECO piloted the implementation of the Sitio Electrification Program (SEP) way back in 2007 when it decided to loan from the National Electrification Administration (NEA) to energize numerous sitios in the various parts of Benguet to allow development to flourish in the communities and improve the quality of life of the people in the far flung areas who had been deprived of adequate power supply over the past several decades.
It was only in 2011 that the government provided adequate funding to support the electric cooperatives in the country to implement the SEP that paved the way for the significant improvement in the energized rural areas around the country.