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Beneco embarks on technology to lower rates

BAGUIO CITY December 21 – The Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) embarked on the latest technology through its advance metering infrastructure (AMI) to significantly improve its system in delivering quality power to the consumers and contributing in efforts to lower power rates.

Engr. Melchor Licoben, department manager of BENECO's Network Services Department, explained the AMI is a 2-pronged approach that is geared towards improving the company's distribution system that will translate to sustain the efforts to lower the single digit systems loss which will result to lower and cheaper power rates charged to the consumers.

The first approach now being implemented by BENECO is to install Smart meters to its top 1,000 accounts having a monthly consumption of more than 10,000 kilowatthours that will guarantee the online reading of their monthly consumption while the second approach is through the installation of pre-paid meters to some 1,000 residential consumers that will include BENECO employees and at least three of their relatives and other interested consumers for the pilot testing of the pre-paid application.

Initially, Licoben claimed that some 300 commercial accounts were already installed the required Smart meters and the rest of the big commercial accounts will be installed the needed meters by next year for the realization of at least a 1 percent reduction in the prevailing systems loss of the cooperative.

On the other hand, the installation of pre-paid meters to the houses of BENECO employees and their relatives will be implemented next year following the alleged delays in the delivery of the meters for the pilot testing of the pre-paid meters to adhere to the industry standards.

Currently, BENECO has an average systems loss of 8.6 percent from January to October this year which is much lower than the 14 percent cap imposed by the electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA).

Licoben pointed out of the prevailing systems loss, 50 percent is said to be non-technical loss that is what the cooperative is trying to continuously reduce through the various implementation of the needed interventions that will sustain efforts to reduce the non-technical losses for the benefit of lowering the power rates charged to consumers.

BENECO also entered into an agreement with the Korean Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) for the pilot testing of its application that will complement the cooperative-s pre-paid metering project to effectively and efficiently address the issues and concerns relative to the presence of non-technical losses which are being passed on to the consumers.

"We will continue to implement the needed interventions to guarantee our efforts to continue improving the cooperative's distribution system that will eventually translate to the lower rates being charged to consumers. We will also continue to venture on the latest technology that will help us realize our goals and objectives of lowering our power rates without compromising the delivery of quality power to the consumers," Licoben stressed.

By Dexter A. See

 
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STATEMENT IN REPLY TO THE PUBLISHED OPEN LETTER OF BCDA PRESIDENT and CEO ARNEL PACIANO D. CASANOVA

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