ARTA presses ERC to act on petition to nullify FiT hike

THE Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) issued notice to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) of an eight-months-delayed Laban Konsyumer, Inc. (LKI) petition to nullify feed-in tariff (FiT) increases.

The LKI petition sought the withdrawal of an ERC resolution last year clearing the way for an increase in the FiT, a fixed payment to renewable energy developers that is passed on to electricity end-users in the form of the FiT-Allowance.

According to documents obtained Monday by BusinessWorld, the red-tape regulator took note of LKI’s complaint through a notice of referral e-mailed to ERC Commissioner-in-Charge Floresinda G. Baldo-Digal.

“We are referring the above complaint to your office for your appropriate action. Kindly furnish us your acknowledgement and action taken within three days from receipt of this notice,” ARTA Director for Investigation, Enforcement and Litigation Jedrek C. Ng said in a letter dated Sept. 2, 2021.

“Please take note that failure to notify the Authority regarding your action taken on this matter will amount to a violation of R.A. No. 11032 (Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018),” he added.

In a statement issued Monday, LKI President Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba said the ERC has not yet issued the order to hear the group’s petition to nullify the FiT increases.

Last year, the FiT rate for solar projects was P11.2758 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), up from the 2014 level of P9.680/kWh. Meanwhile, the FiT rate for wind projects was at P9.8976/kWh in 2020, against the 2014 rate of P8.5300/kWh.

LKI’s Mr. Dimagiba has said that the FiT adjustments in solar and wind last year contributed to higher electricity bills as the state-run National Transmission Corp. recovered the allowance paid by consumers.

BusinessWorld asked the ERC to comment, but it had not replied at deadline time. — Angelica Y. Yang

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