ERC gets back to work; suspended commissioners return
The Energy Regulatory Commission intends to promulgate decisions on 61 cases or applications within 60 days with the return to office of four commissioners previously ordered suspended by the Office of the Ombudsman.
ERC chair Agnes Devanadera said in a briefing these cases were those that the industry regulator had been working on for the past several months, but that a decision could not be signed because the commissioners were suspended during the past six weeks.
Commissioners Josefina Patricia M. Asirit, Gloria Victoria C. Yap-Taruc and Alfredo J. Non joined Devanadera during the briefing. Commissioner Geronimo D. Sta. Ana was on leave.
Devanadera said the decisions up for promulgation included one related to the reduction of maximum cost of systems losses that distribution utilities could pass on to consumers.
Systems losses refer to the electricity lost due to the friction of power cables and also due to pilferage.
Currently, private distribution utilities are allowed by law to pass on up to 8.5 percent of the systems losses to their customers. Electricity cooperatives are allowed to recover 13 percent of their systems losses from their members.
According to Asirit, the upcoming decision will reduce the systems loss cap to 6.5 percent for distribution utilities during a four-year transition period. On the fifth year, the cap will be further brought down to 5.5 percent.
For cooperatives, the cap will be 12 percent during transition, and ultimately 8.25 percent.
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