ELECTRIC cooperatives managed to cut their system losses during the first half, allowing them to post a 13% increase in energy sales, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) said on Wednesday.

“This is a clear indicator that electric cooperatives are fully committed and ready to compete with other power distribution utilities in the country. Lower system losses contribute to a reduction in power rates,” said NEA Administrator Edgardo R. Masongsong in a statement.

System loss, or electricity lost during transmission, improved by 1.19 percentage points to 10.38% in the first six months from 11.57%, according to a report by NEA’s information technology and communication services department.

The reduction further placed the national system loss of electric cooperatives (ECs) under the 12% system loss cap set by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). The cap is what limit that can be passed on to the monthly electricity bills of consumers.

NEA said based on its data, 96 ECs posted a system loss that is within the cap. Of these cooperatives, 39 recorded single-digit system loss. Up to 15 ECs reported a double-digit system loss of 13% to 20%. The number is lower than the 31 in the previous year.

“I hope they will strive to sustain the gains they have made, and do their utmost to further improve their services to their member-consumer-owners and other stakeholders,” Mr. Masongsong said.

NEA said the ECs that posted the lowest system losses were Aurora Electric Cooperative, Inc. at 2.03%; Batanes Electric Cooperative, Inc. at 2.79%; Leyte II Electric Cooperative, Inc. at 2.91%; South Cotabato II Electric Cooperative, Inc. at 2.91%; and Misamis Oriental I Rural Electric Service Cooperative, Inc. at 2.99%.

Completing the top 10 are: Dinagat Island Electric Cooperative, Inc. with 3.74%; Cebu III Electric Cooperative, Inc. at 3.88%; Bohol I Electric Cooperative, Inc. at 6.20%; Iloilo III Electric Cooperative, Inc. at 6.27%; and Surigao del Sur I Electric Cooperative, Inc. at 6.38%.

NEA said 14 regions recorded a reduction in their system losses and contributed to the decline in the overall level. This resulted to increased energy sales by 13% and revenues by 14%.

During the period, the total energy sales of the ECs reached 11,397 gigawatthours (GWh), up 13.3% from 10,060 GWh in the same period last year. National gross revenue of the ECs grew 13.6%% to P112.12 billion from P98.74 billion.

The agency said the higher sales were also driven by the increased consumption of residential sector at 5,951 GWh followed by commercial sector at 2,515 GWh, industrial sector at 1,634 GWh, public building at 588 GWh, and other consumers at 709 GWh. — Victor V. Saulon