LEGAZPI CITY -- The Department of Energy (DOE) on Friday has issued to the Albay Power Energy Corporation (APEC), the concessioner of the Albay Electric Cooperative (ALECO), the temporary exemption to procure under a negotiated emergency power supply agreement (EPSA) 40 megawatts power supply from June 26 to Dec. 25, 2021.
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi has issued a certification allowing the APEC to buy the needed power supply by granting a Certificate of Exemption to do a Competitive Selection Process (COE-CSP) for the negotiated procurement of EPSA.
The granting of the exemption is pursuant to a DOE Circular allowing power distributors a negotiated procurement of emergency power supply procedure not to exceed one year, provided further, that the rate shall not be higher than the latest Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) approved power rate.
The issuance of the temporary EPSA would allow APEC to look for other power suppliers to provide electricity to APEC at a lower price than that given by the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda said.
Salceda said the granting of COE by the DOE to APEC for six months would allow the firm to scout for other power suppliers to participate in the bidding for the 40 MW power supply requirements of APEC.
Lesley Capus, APEC Internal Relation, and Customer Support Department head, welcomed the DOE decision to reconsider the firm's request to be exempted from the conduct of the CSP.
In an official statement of APEC on Saturday, Capus said: “With such favorable decision, we can assure our 207,597 customers in Albay that we can secure a stable, reliable and affordable supply of electricity from the San Miguel Energy Corporation (SMEC).”
He said the average price under the EPSA is around PHP5.4750/kWh compared to the average WESM price of PHP6.8513 per/kWh. Currently, WESM Price is at PHP12.84/kWh compared to the San Miguel Energy Corp. (SMEC) price of PHP6.70/kWh.
The firm is also saddled by various operational and technical problems such as unpaid bills from 53,000 consumers, system losses caused by rampant power pilferages, and antiquated transmission lines and stations.
He said the firm is losing some PHP142 million a month due to system losses and non-payment of bills.
“Our customers will no longer need to pay higher monthly power bills due to our vulnerability and exposure to WESM,” he added.
Capus also thanked the DOE for graciously granting the request,” the consideration you made is truly a great relief for the distribution utility, and especially consumers,” the statement added.
Jocelyn Arango, a mother of two from Legazpi City, is very happy with the announcement from DOE.
"I'm looking forward to a lower power bill for July since we cannot afford to pay the higher amount. From our regular PHP1,200 it became more than PHP3,000 which is above our budget," she added. (PNA)