Power rates being charged by the Benguet electric Cooperative (BENECO) from its member-consumer-owners (MCOs) continue to be on a down trend following its further decline by P0.2153 per kilowatthour in the March billing period.
Based on the data obtained from BENECO under the leadership of Acting General Manager Engr. Ramel Rifani, the decrease in the power rates during the present billing period is caused by the movement in the generation and transmission charges which are not within the control of the electric cooperative as the same are dictated by market forces among others.
From the February generation charge of P5.7300/kwh, the March generation charge slightly dropped to P5.7295/kwh
Further, BENECO’s transmission charge of P0.7670/kwh last month also dropped to P0.7630/kwh or a reduction of P0.0040/kwh during the present billing period.
On the other hand, the prevailing commercial low voltage rate of P9.3699/kwh is lower by P0.2109/kwh compared to the similar rate in February which was P9.5808/kwh.
Also decreasing by P0.2109/kwh is BENECO’s industrial rate in March which is P9.3386/kwh compared to the similar rate in February which was pegged at P9.5495/kwh.
For the public building low voltage rate, the same dropped by P0.2109/kwh or from P9.5531/kwh in February to P9.3422/kwh during the present billing period.
The rate for streetlights also realized a decrease of P0.2109/kwh from the February rate of P9.5808/kwh compared to the P9.3699/kwh in March.
BENECO’s commercial high voltage rate decreased by P0.2163/kwh or from the February rate of P8.1180/kwh compared to the P7.9017/kwh in March.
Moreover, the public building high voltage rate of P7.8739/kwh in March was lower by P0.2163/kwh compared to the February rate of P8.0902/kwh.
BENECO’s power rates had been on a down trend since the start of the year amidst reports on the projected increase in power rates caused by the unpredictable fuel prices aggravated by the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.
BENECO continues to strive to regain its status as a Class AAA electric cooperative after it was downgraded to a class C electric cooperative primarily triggered by the previous leadership impasse that ruined its gains over the past 3 decades of having painstakingly worked to achieve such a coveted status.
Despite being a Class C electric cooperative, BENECO is able to maintain its cheap and competitive power rates compared to the power rates of similar cooperatives and private distribution utilities with a much wider area of coverage and much bigger number of consumers.
BENECO has a 50-year franchise covering the power distribution in the Baguio and Benguet areas where the same is expected to expire by 2028, thus, it is setting its sights for the possible renewal of the same to sustain the implementation of the government’s rural electrification program geared towards energizing the remotest villages within its franchise area.