ERC extends FIT-All suspension in electric bills

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has enforced a band-aid measure to lower power rates by extending the suspension of the feed-in-tariff allowance (FIT-All) for another six months.

FIT-All, which is a subsidy cost being collected from all ratepayers to incentivize qualified renewable energy (RE) developers, is a separate line item being passed on in the monthly electric bills.

In the ERC announcement, it stipulated that it directed relevant industry players to extend the “suspension in the collection of the FIT-All for another six months starting March 2023 until August 2023.”

The regulator emphasized that “amid high cost of electricity, the ERC’s move will bring relief to the consumers in terms of lower power rate by P0.0364/kWh.”

The FIT-All was temporarily removed in the pass-on costs since November last year and that was packaged as a Christmas gift to the consumers.

This time when Filipino consumers will likely be agitated of the summer rate hikes, the industry regulator opted to provide another batch of “temporary fix” to the high electricity rates dilemma of the country.

“In view of the rising level of inflation and cost of living affecting millions of Filipino households, the ERC re-evaluated the FIT-All Fund balance and found its healthy status, which can sufficiently cover the FIT-All payment requirements for six (6) more months,” the ERC highlighted.

That will be a marginal rate reduction that the consumers would be able to enjoy in their electric bills, but it would still be a much-needed respite in the surging prices of basic commodities and services.

The industry players that had been ordered by the ERC to temporarily cease the collection of FIT-All are: distribution utilities (DUs); retail electricity suppliers (RES); and system operator National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.

Following that mandate, these relevant industry players were likewise directed “to report to the ERC not later than 31st of March 2023, the status of its implementation of the suspension of the collection of FIT-All charge from December 2022 to February 2023 billing period.”

The regulatory body expounded that such directive was issued “in order for the Commission to ensure correct and timely compliance of these said entities, as the collection agents.”