BAGUIO CITY – Benguet Electric Cooperative (Beneco), the sole power distributor for this city and the 13 towns of the province, has announced that around 170,000 consumers will benefit from the graduated discounts on their April and May electric bills.
Lawyer Delmar Cariño, Beneco’s legal division manager, on Saturday said the board of directors has approved the discounts under their “Pantawid Liwanag” program that will benefit 178,545 of the 206,000 consumer accounts.
Cariño said for April, consumers who used 30 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity and below will not have to pay their bill while those who consumed 31 to 100 kWh will get a PHP100 discount.
For May, consumers who used 101-200 kWh will enjoy a PHP100 discount. Residential consumer accounts whose consumption will be from 201–300 kWh in May will also get a PHP100 discount, but only if the collection efficiency of Beneco will be favorable.
Beneco’s subsidy for the “Pantawid Liwanag” will cost the cooperative PHP15.48 million for the 178,545 consumer accounts based on the latest membership data of the cooperative.
Cariño said they resumed electric reading on April 13, allowing the distribution utility to get the actual number of beneficiaries of the aid to electric consumers.
For the April bill, there will be a total of 56,349 lifeline accounts consuming 30 kWh and below that will receive free electricity and 26,049 lifeline consumer accounts that used 31–50 kWh that will receive the PHP100 discount.
In May, 45,975 residential consumer accounts that used 51–100 kWh and another 37,826 that consumed 101-200 kWh will enjoy the PHP100 subsidy.
An additional 12,346 residential consumer accounts whose consumption in May will be from 201–300 kWh might also get the PHP100 discount.
Cariño said the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) allotted a PHP15.8 million subsidy to the electric cooperative for the roll out of the “Pantawid Liwanag” program.
ERC encouraged the country’s electric cooperatives to help consumers cope with the adverse impact of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) through subsidy.
Instead of just the lifeline consumers, Beneco graduated the discounts to cover more. Lifeline consumers are the marginalized households that consume 50 kWh and below a month.
Cariño said for consumers who have already paid their bills, the subsidy will be credited to their accounts as advance partial payment and their succeeding bills will be adjusted accordingly.
Beneco has around 206,000 consumer accounts and its subsidy program will help residential and lifeline consumers who are affected by the ECQ imposed to control the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019. (PNA)