Are you a valued customer of Central Negros Electric Cooperative (CENECO)? Have you consistently paid your electric bills on time for the past three years? If you have, then here’s some great news – you are entitled to claim your CENECO bill deposit refund! Read more about this consumer right that most of us are probably not aware of.
CENECO Bill Deposit Refund
Power Watch Negros, a renowned consumer advocacy group, is leading the charge to ensure that eligible consumers receive their rightful CENECO bill deposit refund. Let’s learn more about bill deposits, the rightful refunds, the efforts of Power Watch Negros, and how similar initiatives by MORE Electric and Power Corp. in Iloilo City are making a positive impact among consumers.
Empowering Consumer Rights
Power Watch Negros, spearheaded by Secretary-General Wennie Sancho, is championing consumer rights by urging eligible CENECO consumers to claim their bill deposit refunds.
To facilitate the process, the organization has formally requested certification from CENECO’s Finance Department to confirm the status and amount of restricted funds, including bill deposits. With the establishment of a dedicated Refund Center, Power Watch Negros is committed to assisting qualified consumers in applying for their rightful refunds. The refunded amount can provide much-needed financial relief, especially during challenging times. It would be a big relief for the family budget.
The Use of Bill Deposit and Who Can Avail of Refunds
The bill deposit is a security payment made by CENECO consumers during electricity service applications, ensuring timely bill payments.
According to the provisions of the Energy Regulatory Commission in the Magna Carta for Residential Electricity Consumers, distribution utilities must refund the bill deposit to eligible consumers who have maintained a record of on-time payments with no disconnections for three consecutive years.
As a consumer and diligent payor, it is your right to claim this refund, as the amount rightfully belongs to you–not the utility company.
Seizing the Opportunity: CENECO’s Financial Struggles and the Need for Action
As of June 2023, CENECO has incurred significant borrowings and debts. The restricted funds, including bill deposits, have been utilized to cover losses, leaving the utility with limited resources. In short, CENECO is in a dire financial situation, which is actually rather questionable because they have a one-bill policy and consumers get disconnected if they are late in paying that particular bill.
For eligible consumers, this underscores the importance of claiming their CENECO bill deposit refunds promptly, as simply waiting for the distribution utility to fulfill its obligations may not come.
Setting an Example: MORE Electric and Power Corp.
In a notable example, MORE Electric and Power Corp. in Iloilo City has already commenced bill deposit refunds for its customers.
Under the leadership of MORE Power President and CEO Roel Castro, the company has ensured that a P4 million budget for bill deposit refunds has already been allocated. So far, three qualified customers have received their P2,500 bill deposit refund. Furthermore, the rest of the 841 qualified customers are set to receive their refunds by December.
This commitment to promptly refunding consumers underlines strict adherence to the Magna Carta for Residential Electric Consumers, ensuring that eligible customers receive their refunds as stipulated by the law.
Hope Through Joint Venture Agreement (JVA)
There just might be hope on the horizon for CENECO subscribers!
The Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) could offer a viable solution for consumers to be able to claim their bill deposit refunds.
When the venture called NEGROS Power is finalized, Primelectric will pay for CENECO’s distribution assets, valued at PhP 1.7 billion. While CENECO continues to own 30% of the joint venture, the fresh cash can be used to fulfill its responsibility of refunding consumers’ bill deposits promptly.
As an electricity consumer with CENECO, you have the right to claim your bill deposit refund if you have consistently paid your electric bills on time for the past three years.
We have seen that it is possible. The efforts of Power Watch Negros and MORE Electric and Power Corp. exemplify the significance of promptly claiming these refunds.
With CENECO facing financial struggles, the Refund Center established by Power Watch Negros presents a valuable opportunity for eligible consumers. Claim your bill deposit refund now and empower your consumer rights! Let’s unite to ensure that consumers receive whatever is due to them.