The recent declaration of MORE Power and Electric Company (MORE Power) that it will lower the current electricity being charged by Panay Electric Company (PECO) by P1.21per kilowatt-hour (kWh) is “mathematically possible,” but “getting the job done is a totally different story in the actual operations of power distribution.”
Engr. Randy Pastolero, vice president for operations of PECO explained that “the assumption is based on so many dynamics, which include, among others, the increasing Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) rates, fuel rate load flow, and line rental fees.”
Last week, the Iloilo Economic Development Foundation, Inc (ILED) called upon MORE Power to present its plans and directions as the new power distributor in Iloilo City.
During his presentation, MORE Power president Roel Castro said that they would lower the rate of electricity and at the same time implement reliability projects thru repairs of existing PECO infrastructure.
The presentation revealed, however, that MORE Power is dependent on the same PECO facilities that they attacked and labelled as inefficient and will be operating at the mercy of PECO selling its assets or eventually using them through expropriation.
MORE Power failed to present an actual timeline as it has not started putting up its own infrastructure and could only make promises that it will do better than PECO as noted by several stakeholders present.
Prior this new franchise awarded to MORE Power, the company was listed as a mining firm with literally zero experience in the power distribution industry.
PECO Administrative Officer Marcelo Cacho noted that MORE Power is making Iloilo into their pilot learning project.
“A developing city does not need such power distributor. We all have to remember that any cost that is paid for by the utility will eventually end up in the rates and their (MORE) plan is not properly thought out to maximize modernization at the least possible cost to the consumer,” he said.
Castro said that they wpuld focus on the rehabilitation of 69 kilovolt (KV) lines, installation of tie-up points at remaining feeders, supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), increase the capacity to construct substations, and rehabilitate the old electromechanical meters to electronic meters and secondary lines, among others.
SCADA, according to Cacho, “will notautomate the meter reading process. I’m sorry but it’s the smart meter instead.”
“SCADA is a method for monitoring and controlling substation switchgears. All these false pretences again are either propaganda to sway public opinion or reinforce our belief that experience is vital in the electric distribution industry to avoid coming up with false misleading claims,” he said.IMT