Joey Salceda seeks Cusi’s help to stop power rate hike in Albay

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By Billy Begas

House Committee on Ways and Means chairperson Joey Salceda has sought the intervention of Malacañang and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi to prevent the looming power rate hike in Albay.

Salceda said Albay is overexposed to the electricity spot market, whose power prices increased recently due to thin supply and high demand of electricity.

To avert the looming power rate hike, Albay Power and Energy Corp. (APEC) has sought to enter an emergency power supply agreement (EPSA). However, the Department of Energy rejected the request last May 27.

Salceda then called Senator Bong Go and Cusi to intervene.

“Thanks to Sen. Bong Go and Sec. Cusi, the DOE will issue on Tuesday a certificate of exemption from CSP (competitive selection process) to APEC for 6 months,” Salceda said.

Salceda explained that the exemption will enable APEC to engage in EPSA and buy 100% from other suppliers at P6.70 per kiloWatt hour instead of P13.47/kWh at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).

He said the electricity rates in Albay may go down to as low as P8.40 for the July billing.

“This intervention will keep the lights on in Albay, and possibly lower prices. It buys us six months to solve more structural issues with APEC,” Salceda added.