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PIA Press Release

Socoteco I appeals for support, understanding from consumers

by DE Doguiles

Koronadal City (25 May) -- After a series of increases in the electric bills for its consumers, South Cotabato I Electric Cooperative (SOCOTECO I) appealed for consideration of the cooperative?s situation.

SOCOTECO I General Manager Santiago Tudio also entreated consumers to help the cooperative in its efforts to conserve electricity.

In a message to the consumers sent through the press, Tudio said, "In the past months, we have experienced increases in the electric bills despite power interruptions resulting from the decrease of the water level in Lake Lanao."

"The increase in the charges," he explained, "was due to the rise in the ancillary services charges billed to the cooperative by the National Power Grid Corporation (NGCP)"

Tudio described ancillary services, are support utility "needed to maintain power quality, reliability, and security of the grid."

"At times when there contingency reserve is zero, NGCP has to use dispatchable reserves powered by diesel fuel, which is more expensive than hydro-power generation," he further explained.

Tudio said the cooperative has no other alternative but to pass the ancillary charges on to the consumers.

This situation led Tudio to earnestly ask the member-consumers to help in the conservation efforts of the cooperative.

"We wholeheartedly appeal to all the member-consumers to be prudent with their use of electricity," he said.

Among the conservation measures that the cooperative encourages the consumers to adopt include the use of energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps and shifting of household activities that need electricity to times when the usage is at the minimum such very early in the morning and after 9:00 pm.

As per the latest advisory from NGCP, the power generation deficiency in Mindanao has reduced to 387 megawatts.

Power interruptions in SOCOTECO I areas have also been reduced to two to four hours a day from seven to nine hours before the elections. (PIA 12) [top]

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