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Rural utilities’ energy sales inch up in Q1

rural utilities energy sales inch up in q1 816x445 - Rural utilities’ energy sales inch up in Q1

POWER UTILITIES in the countryside sold slightly more electricity in the first three months of the year, while their revenues also fell slightly, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) said.

Electric cooperatives’ energy sales in the first quarter went up 3% to 5,338 gigawatt-hours (GWh) over 5,162 GWh last year, the agency said in a statement on Friday.

Their revenues fell by 1.5% to P49.67 billion, compared to P50.41 billion a year ago, data from NEA’s Informational Technology and Communication Services Department showed.

Meanwhile, rural utilities recovered system losses from consumers at an average of 10.13% of their bills in the period, which is down by 0.41% points from last year.

NEA, the agency governing these power distributors, noted the rate is 1.87% points lower than the government-prescribed 12% rate limit.

It said 95 cooperatives charged system loss recoveries within the mandated cap. Among them, utilities in Central Visayas charged the lowest average at 6.55%, followed by those in the Cordillera, Soccsksargen, and Northern Mindanao.

Earlier, lawmakers raised concerns about power distributors recovering system losses, or portions of electricity supply that dissipates in the process of distribution, at a rate of 20%.

The Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association (Philreca) said about five of the 121 cooperatives have charged at that rate in 2019. Overall, 18 utilities went over the system loss recovery limit that year.

Electric cooperatives should “continuously strive towards improving their operations, and bring down their distribution system losses further,” NEA Administrator Edgardo R. Masongsong said. — Adam J. Ang

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