Power rates charged by the Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) to its member-consumer-owners (MCOs) dropped by P0.0272 per kilowatt-hour right at the start of the year following the decrease in the transmission charge for the current billing period.
Based on the monthly comparative power rates, BENECO’s residential rates for January is P10.4426/kwh compared to the similar residential rate of p10.4698/kwh in December 2022.
Further, BENECO’s transmission charge for January is P0.8214/kwh which is P0.0455/kwh lower than the similar charge of P0.8669/kwh last month.
However, BENECO’s generation charge for January which is P5.7300/kwh is slightly higher by P0.0001/kwh compared to the P5.729/kwh transmission charge last month.
Another component of BENECO’s power bill that increased for the current billing period is the systems loss charge where the same charge for January which is P0.7196/kwh is P0.0119/kwh higher than last month’s systems loss charge of P0.7076/kwh.
On the other hand, BENECO’s commercial low voltage rates for January which is P9.7178/kwh is lower by P0.0443/kwh compared to last month’s similar charge of P9.7622/kwh.
For industrial power rates, the same dropped by P0.0443/kwh from last month’s P9.7308/kwh compared to the similar charge of P9.6865/kwh this month.
Public building low voltage and streetlights similarly decreased by P0.0443/kwh for the current billing period where the January rates which are P9.6901/kwh and P9.7178/kwh compared to the P9.7344/kwh and P9.7622/kwh, respectively last month.
On the other hand, commercial high voltage and public high voltage rates similarly increased by P0.0174/kwh in January where the said charges are P8.1876/kwh and P8.1598/kwh compared to last month’s PP8.1702/kwh and P8.1424/kwh, respectively.
Despite being downgraded to a Class C electric cooperative from its previous stature as a Class AAA cooperative, BENECO was able to maintain its cheap power rates which is much lower compared to the monthly charges of private distribution utilities that have a much wider area of coverage and a greater number of consumers compared to BENECO’s present MCOs.
The present leadership crisis besetting the electric cooperative following the decision of the National electrification Administration–Board of Administrators (NEA-BOA) to remove all the members of the Board of Directors, suspend some incumbent officers and recall the probationary appointment of the unqualified general manager continues to have a serious negative impact on the regular operations of BENECO.
MCOs are keeping their fingers crossed that the Task Force BENECO which is composed of appointed representatives from various sectors will be able to address the pressing issues and concerns confronting the electric cooperative because of the dynamic situation of the country’s power sector where its cheap and power rates should be maintained aside from the improvement of the reliability of the distribution system for the consumers to be able to enjoy quality power from the grid.
Concerned sectors are optimistic that BENECO will be able to regain its previous status as a Class AAA electric cooperative after the leadership crisis shall have been resolved in the future.