ERC eyes suspension of FIT-All charges

By Alden M. Monzon@AldenMonzonINQ

November 21, 2022 12:00:00

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) is looking at the possibility of suspending the Feed-In Tariff Allowance (FIT-All) charges, which will temporarily reduce electricity bills by nearly 4 centavos per kilowatt hour (kWh).

In a radio interview on Saturday, Monalisa Dimalanta, chair of the ERC, said that they were studying this measure after making an early assessment that the FIT-All fund today is at "healthy" levels.

"So, in our initial calculations, the fund looks healthy so we have the headroom to withhold on charging FIT-All," Dimalanta said, adding that the commission is studying how long the measure can stand in place.

Christmas gift

According to data from Manila Electric Co., the average Filipino household consumes about 200 kWh monthly, which will mean a small savings of about P8 a month from the suspension of the FIT-All charges.

Dimalanta added that they are rushing to have it implemented in December as a sort of Christmas gift to the public, amid high inflation and rising prices of goods.

"We hope it will be effective by next month. We still need to announce and disseminate it to those who will implement it—the electric cooperatives and distribution utilities," Dimalanta said.

Bill components

The FIT-All is one of the components of the electricity bill that is collected from all power consumers and used to subsidize eligible renewable energy power producers.

The proceeds go to a fund managed by the state-run National Transmission Corp. (TransCo).

Eligible renewable energy developers can withdraw from the fund as provided by the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 to encourage them to develop more power plants running on "clean" sources such as wind, run-of-river hydro, solar and biomass facilities.

According to the ERC's 2021 report, TransCo has collected some P104.6 billion as of the end of 2020 over six years since its implementation.

From 2015 to 2020, a total of P98.3 billion in payments has been made to FIT-All eligible renewable energy developers, with firms engaged in wind power comprising the bulk at 44 percent while those in hydroelectric energy comprised the lowest at 6.10 percent. INQ