Various consumer groups have sought a probe into the alleged overcharging of electricity bills by VECO, the second largest private electric utility provider in the country and asked for a refund.
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has already directed VECO to explain the high cost of electricity specifically during the period January to October 2020 when the power purchases made from Cebu Private Power Corp. (CPPC) averaged at P35.3853 per kilowatt hour (kWh), with generation rate spiking significantly high at P1,470.90 per kWh for the month of September last year.
“Kung mapapatunayan na hindi makatwiran ang singil ng VECO, dapat ibalik nila ang binayad ng mga kunsyumer. Mandato ng ERC na protektahan ang interes ng publiko lalo na kung may pang-aabuso ngang nagawa,” Gatchalian saidKung mapapatunayan na hindi makatwiran ang singil ng VECO, dapat ibalik nila ang binayad ng mga kunsyumer. Mandato ng ERC na protektahan ang interes ng publiko lalo na kung may pang-aabuso ngang nagawa,” Gatchalian said.
Gatchalian cited Sec 23 of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA), which states that distribution utilities (DUs), VECO included, have the obligation to supply electricity in the least cost manner to its captive market.
CPPC is just one of the four independent power producers (IPP) supplying the energy requirements to VECO. The other three are Green Core Geothermal Inc. (GCGI), Cebu Energy Development Corp. (CEDC) and Therma Visayas Inc. (TVI) whose power purchases averaged only at P5.5584 per kWh, P4.8922 per kWh and P5.6821 per kWh respectively in the 10 months to October last year.