The availability of electricity in Iloilo City is expected to improve substantially once new utility firm More Electric and Power Corp. begins the rollout of its P1.8-billion modernization program for the distribution system of the largest city on Panay Island.

In a statement, MORE Power president and COO Roel Castro assured Iloilo City Mayor Geronimo Treñas and the city’s residents that the company will work on providing reliable, safe and cheap supply of electricity.

In particular, he said MORE Power will complement Iloilo’s ongoing economic boom by modernizing the city’s power distribution system “to improve its efficiency, cut systems losses and give Iloilo a more reliable, safer and cheaper electricity supply than they got from the previous utility.”

“Ilonggos deserve the best from us,” he said. “Nothing more, nothing less.”

Castro said the company will start with the replacement of all electric meters in the city with new meters that have been approved and had passed the standards of the Energy Regulatory Commission as a means of reducing the technical systems loss paid for by Ilonggos in their monthly bill.

In 2019, the company said that the city’s previous utility firm, Panay Electric Co. (PECO), had recorded systems losses — the amount of electricity lost in the inefficient distribution because of faulty lines and equipment or from pilferage — of 9.03 percent, which was substantially higher than the 6.5-percent cap that could be charged to customers set by regulators for privately owned distribution utilities, according to ERC’s records.

A study conducted by MORE Power with Miescor, the engineering company of Meralco, showed the need for an “extensive array” of equipment and distribution lines to be replaced to improve safety, reliability and efficiency of the distribution system, Castro said.

These include decaying wooden poles, undersized transformers, undersized conductors, old and dilapidated substations, among others, he said.

Among the equipment that need to be replaced or rehabilitated are 119 transformers all over the city that were found to be abnormally overheating, an indication of overloading, Castro said.

MORE Power will be “proactive” in ensuring Ilonggos will have safe, reliable and cheaper electricity supply with its investment in modern distribution lines and equipment to replace the aged system in place, he added.

This optimism for an improved power situation in Iloilo was shared by officials of the Department of Energy, as well as the local government unit led by the city’s mayor, Jerry Treñas, who asked his constituents to recognize MORE Power as the city’s sole legitimate power distribution utility with the proper operating permit from the ERC and franchise from Congress.

Edited by TSB

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