He reminded consumers to be conscientious electricity usersfollowing the increase in Ceneco rate beginning this month – by P1.0659 perkilowatt hour (kWh). He attributed the increase to the hike in generation, transmissionand system loss charges, subsidies, and value added tax. Conserve energy, said Jose Taniongon, officer-in-charge of theCentral Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco). Norman Pollentes, department manager of Ceneco Corporate Planning,clarified that all power contracts of Ceneco could not be implemented withoutthe approval of the ERC. BACOLOD City – Want to avoid paying high electricity bills? Taniongon said, “The rate for the billing month of December 2019is P10.4678/kWh, an increase of P1.0659/kWh from last month’s rate ofP9.4019/kWh.” In a related development, Ceneco held a press conference onWednesday with Wennie Sancho, secretary general of Power Watch-Negros (PowerWatch) in relation to Sancho’s letter to Ceneco board of directors dated Dec. 9seeking clarification on the alleged “power overcontracting” by Cenecowith some power generators. Hence, according to Sancho, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC)opined that Kepco Salcon Power Corp. (KSPC) must be compensated by allowing therecovery of P232-million cost to maintain its financial viability. It added that for the interim period of 18 months, from Dec. 26,2014 to June 25, 2016, out of 262,800,000 kWh contracted energy, only139,284,000 kWh or 53 percent was utilized by the cooperative. He further stated that the adverse financial effect ofovercontracted power deals passed on to consumers reached to P547 million. “The ERC has the final say if there is overcontracting or not,”stressed Pollentes./PN He added that when the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001was implemented in 2010, Ceneco’s method of procurement was made through powersupply negotiation and through solicitation of competitive offers fromdifferent generators. Today, the process is competitive selection process, hestressed. Part of Sancho’s letter stated that from July 29, 2011 to Nov. 25,2013 Ceneco contracted 59,710,493 kWh of power equivalent to about P232 millionin excess of its actual requirement.