ELECTRIC cooperatives (ECs), mostly found in the provinces, recorded significant reductions in systems losses, allowing them to become operationally efficient and be of better service to consumers.
The National Electrification Administration (NEA) said 42 ECs registered a single-digit system-loss average in 2016, while 53 others stayed within the 13-percent cap set by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
The top 5 ECs in terms of low system-loss averages as of December 2016 were Misamis Oriental I Rural Electric Cooperative Inc. (Moresco-1), at 2.14 percent, followed by the Siasi Electric Cooperative Inc. (Siaselco), at 4.77 percent.
The Dinagat Island Electric Cooperative Inc. (Dielco) was third, at 5.31 percent, followed by the Iloilo III Electric Cooperative Inc. (Ileco III), at 5.95 percent; and the Bohol I Electric Cooperative Inc. (Boheco I), at 6.07 percent.
Siaselco and the Maguindanao Electric Cooperative Inc. (Magelco) showed the most dramatic improvement in 2016, as they cut back on their system losses by more than half their average the previous year, from 10.22 percent to 4.77 percent for Siaselco and 27.34 percent to 11.87 percent for Magelco.
Nine other ECs also managed to bring down their system-loss averages from double digits in 2015 to under 10 percent last year. These included the Agusan del Norte Electric Cooperative Inc. (Aneco), Aklan Electric Cooperative Inc. (Akelco), Batangas II Electric Cooperative Inc. (Batelec-2), Quezon II Electric Cooperative Inc. (Quezelco-2), Romblon Electric Cooperative Inc. (Romelco), Nueva Vizcaya Electric Cooperative Inc. (Nuvelco), Nueva Ecija II Electric Cooperative Inc. (Neeco-2) Area 1, Surigao del Norte Electric Cooperative Inc. (Surneco) and the South Cotabato II Electric Cooperative Inc. (Socoteco-2).
By region, the ECs in Central Visayas continued to post the lowest system-loss average, at 8.48 percent, followed by those in Northern Mindanao, at 8.75 percent; Central Luzon, at 8.97 percent; the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), at 9.58 percent; and Caraga, at 9.64 percent.
In all, the NEA said it recorded a low system-loss average of 10.99 percent, down 0.13 percent from the 11.12-percent average posted in 2015.
NEA Chief Edgardo Masongsong welcomed this development, as the reduction in the system-loss of the ECs remains one of the major policy thrusts of the agency under the current administration.
“Electric cooperatives must continue to implement measures that would keep their system-loss average at the minimum to ease the burden on their consumers who are forced to shoulder it,” Masongsong said.
A low system loss often leads to lower electricity rates.