Razon-led Primelectric Holdings Inc. vowed to reduce the system losses of Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco) which will ultimately result in lower electricity rates.
Under Republic Act 7832 or the Anti-Electricity and Electric Transmission Lines/Materials Pilferage Act of 1994, system loss refers to unbilled power caused by pilferage and physical loss of energy when electricity passes through distribution lines, which can be passed on to consumers.
Primelectric Roel Castro said Negros residents may soon experience a “transformative change” in their electric service once the Cenecio-Primelectric joint venture is approved through the issuance of an electric distribution franchise applied for by Negros Electric and Power Corp. (NEPC).
The joint-venture move is meant to improve the power distribution services in key cities and municipalities in the province of Negros Occidental.
Just recently, the House Committee on Legislative Franchises gave its preliminary approval to House Bill 9310, which aims to grant a franchise to NEPC.
Castro noted the issues currently faced by Ceneco consumers and the urgent need for improved electric services in the region. “There’s a lot of complaints, and over and above that, their system loss is already beyond the cap. And when the systems loss is above the cap, it means that it is being passed on to the bottomline consumers, and Ceneco is already losing P20 million to P30 million a month.”
He said NEPC is financially and technically capable to providing improvements in Bacolod and Central Negros, drawing from their successful experience in Iloilo. “The number of customers increased from 62,000 when we started, and now it’s 93,000 over three years. I would say that the approach to rehabilitate and make a turnaround is something we have done in Iloilo, and now we aim to do the same in Negros.”
“The investment, combined with the approach, is something that we are confident we can replicate in in Central Negros if given a chance by Congress to have a franchise.”
Currently, Ceneco takes 90 minutes to two hours to respond, while More Power in Iloilo achieves a remarkable response time of 15 minutes.
“With all confidence, I am saying that because we were able to do that in Iloilo. In the last three years, we were able to bring down systems loss to only 5 percent. We also curtailed the duration of interruptions by over 90 percent. In terms of rates, our rate is the lowest within the region,” Castro said.