TABUK CITY, Kalinga – The Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP), during the regular session on May 26, urged the Kalinga Apayao Electric Cooperative (KAELCO) to bid out their uncontracted power demand to help bring down the spiraling electric cost in the city.
Leonardo Egcatan, KAELCO Corporate Plan Chief, points to the rising cost of coal and oil in the international market as the primary reason for the exponential rise of generation charge.
Masinloc Power Partners Co. Ltd, a coal-fired power plant, supplies 58 percent of KAELCO’s power demand, while 28 percent is supplied by the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market. Egcatan said that 68 percent of the power from the WESM is also from coal.
During the inquiry, Councilor Ivan Yannick Bagayao urged KAELCO to bid out their uncontracted power demand to find suppliers that charge a lower rate instead of sticking to coal-powered plants.
“The Sanggunian suggests nga agpa-bid kayu tapnu ad-adu ti suppliers, nu haan kayu agpa-bid awan ti agbid, we will be sticking itta coal nga nangatu ti singir da,” he said.
In an interview, Egcatan said that KAELCO will conduct a Competitive Selection Process for three mega-watt of KAELCO’s energy demand for 2022.
Another way to reduce electricity rates according to Bagayao is to ask the ERC to reclassify KAELCO to a group that pays a lower distribution charge.
At present KAELCO is grouped with other electric cooperatives that pay the highest distribution charge based on consumer density, connections per kilometer, and energy consumption.
Egcatan said that reclassification is possible since the present classification was done 10 years ago. At that time, KAELCO had around 25,000 connections which is far lesser than the present connections at 57,000. He added that they will submit a board resolution to the ERC for reclassification.
Meanwhile, Councilor Dick Bal-o who presided over the session said that the council will pass a resolution in support of KAELCO’s bid.
The SP will again invite KAELCO officials and members of the Board of Trustees in their next session to clarify other concerns of consumers.
By Jayson Antonio