ERC orders 2 electric coops to stop collecting ‘reinvestment fund’ charges

Published September 28, 2021, 5:22 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has ordered two electric cooperatives (ECs) to stop passing on to their customers the charges on “reinvestment fund for sustainable capital expenditures” (RFSC) pending compliance to regulatory mandate on the submission of documents that will determine the extent of collections that they already cornered on the specified cost-item.

The power utilities meted with that stop-collection order are Camiguin Electric Cooperative Inc. (CAMELCO) and Bukidnon Second Electric Cooperative Inc. (BUSECO).

“The ERC orders were issued pending the ECs’ compliance with the regulator’s directive to submit an update on their respective RFSC collection as approved by the Commission,” the industry regulator said.

ERC Chairperson Agnes T. Devanadera primarily cited that the CAMELCO had been passing on RFSC charges of P0.5324 per kilowatt hour (kWh) while BUSECO had been collecting P0.2508 per kWh on their respective customers.

“The Commission will not tolerate any stakeholders’ non-compliance of our directives. We will closely monitor the respective compliance of CAMELCO and BUSECO on the submission of the requirements,” the ERC chief said.

She further stated “their failure to comply with the said directives shall constrain the Commission to impose the appropriate sanction/s if warranted.”

With the ‘cease collection’ order of the ERC, it was indicated that the RFSC charges will be temporarily removed from their customers’ electric bills.

“The ERC, upon review of the records, found that CAMELCO has not complied with the Commission’s directive for it to submit a third party audit report with respect to the additional RFSC rate that is being collected from its member-consumers,” the regulatory body noted.

Further, the Camiguin power utility was directed “to submit an update of its capital expenditures (capex) projects, including sufficient justification for each project and an update on its RFSC collection as approved by the Commission.”

In the case of BUSECO, the ERC qualified that the power firm already submitted third party audit report but has yet to furnish the regulatory body an update report on its RFSC collections.

“BUSECO was directed to submit to the ERC its update on the additional RFSC collection after the period covered by its 3rd party audit report – particularly from August 2014 up to the present; and an update on its RFSC collection as approved by the Commission pursuant to the RSEC-WR (Rules for the Setting of Electric Cooperatives’ Wheeling Rates),” the industry regulator said.