THE Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) will cease collecting the P0.0543 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) universal charge for stranded contract costs (UC-SCC) starting this month, the government agency said.

“This is a relief to power consumers all over the country as they are no longer going to be charged the UC-SCC,” it said in a statement over the weekend.

It said the move translates into a reduction of P5.43 for every 100 kWh of electricity consumption.

PSALM said it had started advising electricity distribution and collecting utilities to terminate the implementation of the UC-SCC.

The move comes after the Energy Regulatory Commission ruled on April 10, 2019 that PSALM was permitted to recover P5,117,060,647.80 through the UC-SCC. But based on the computation of PSALM, the recoverable amount could already be covered by the UC-SCC imposed in the January 2020 billing period.

Republic Act No. 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 defines UC-SCC as the “excess of the contracted cost of electricity under eligible contracts over the actual selling price of the contracted energy.”

The UC-SCC charges were intended to pay the remaining financial obligations that the government incurred because of the construction of new power plants to alleviate the power shortages in the 1990s and early 2000. — VVS