Universal Charge
Administration of Universal Charge

Lighting the countryside: PSALM continues to significantly contribute to government efforts to provide a steady and reliable supply of electricity in the country's far-flung areas.

Communities in these areas get much-needed electric power through PSALM’s prudent management and disposal of the collections from the Universal Charge (UC) for Missionary Electrification (UC-ME).

A non-bypassable charge mandated under Section 34 of the EPIRA, the UC is imposed on electricity consumers for the following purposes:

  1. Missionary electrification;
  2. Payment for stranded debts and stranded contract costs;
  3. An environmental charge for watershed rehabilitation and management;
  4. Equalization of taxes and royalties applied to indigenous or renewable sources of energy vis-à-vis imported energy fuels; and
  5. A charge to account for all forms of cross-subsidies.

At present, only the UC-ME and the UC for Environment and Watershed Rehabilitation and Management (UC-EWRM) amounting to PhP0.0025 per kilowatt-hour are imposed on and are being collected from electricity consumers.

The UC is collected monthly by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines and the distribution utilities based on the approval of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). The collections are remitted to PSALM every 15th of the following month.

I. Universal Charge (UC) Administration

  • A. Universal Charge Remittances to PSALM

    As of 30 December 2020, remittances of collecting entities (CEs) to PSALM amounted to PHP204.983 billion, while interest earnings from deposits and placements of UC funds amounted to PHP0.299 billion. On the other hand, UC fund disbursements amounted to PHP202.942 billion. Below are the details of UC remittances, interests and disbursements:

    Universal Charge Remittances, Interests and Disbursements
    As of 31 March 2021 (In PHP Billion)

    Particulars Remittances 1/ Interest Disbursements 2/
    Special Trust Funds: Missionary Electrification (ME) - NPC SPUG 115.009 0.045 115.048
    ME - Renewable Energy Developer Cash Incentive (REDCI) 0.904 0.025 0.324
    Environmental Charge (EC) 2.558 0.161 1.491
    Stranded Contract Cost (SCC) 80.884 0.071 80.393
    Stranded Debts 10.035 0.002 10.035
    Total 209.390 0.304 207.291

    The following disbursements/fund transfers were made from the respective UC Special Trust Fund (STF):

    1. UC-ME and EC

      • PHP115.048 billion and PHP1.491 billion were disbursed to NPC, chargeable against the UC-ME and EC fund, respectively, in accordance with the provisions of the EPIRA and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) decisions/orders.
    2. UC-SCC

      • PHP80.393 billion and PHP10.035 billion were transferred from the UC-SCC and UC-SD STF accounts to PSALM’s UC-SCC and UC-SD Special Fund Accounts (SFA), following the PSALM Board-approved Guidelines and Procedures on Disbursement and Utilization of UC-SCC and UC-SD of NPC.
    3. REDCI

      • Cash Incentives totaling PHP0.32 billion was paid to the following renewable energy (RE) developers, in accordance with the ERC-approved Rules to Govern the Availment and Disbursement of Cash Incentive to RE Developers Operating in Missionary Areas:
        RE Developers Disbursed Amount
        Romblon Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ROMELCO) for the 900 kW Cantingas Mini Hydro Power Plant Corporation (CHPC) 0.06
        Sunwest Water and Electric Co. (SUWECO) for the 1.5 MW Hitoma 1 & 2.1 MW Solong Hydroelectric Power Plants 0.17
        ORMECO for the 2.1 MW Linao Cawayan Mini-Hydro Power Plant (LCMHPP) 0.09
        TOTAL 0.32

    Remittances for the Period January to March 2021

    For the months of January to March 2021, PHP4.406 billion in UC remittances was received by PSALM, broken down as follows:

    UC Remittances to PSALM
    For the Period January to March 2021 (In PHP Billion)

    Month ME (NPC-SPUG) ME (REDCI) EC SCC SD Total
    January 1.118 0.013 0.000 0.004 0.311 1.446
    February 1.261 0.014 0.001 0.027 0.346 1.649
    March 1.013 0.011 0.000 0.008 0.279 1.311
    Total 3.392 0.038 0.001 0.039 0.936 4.406

    *Differences from previous submission are due to rounding off

    Disbursements for January to March 2021

    For the months of January to March 2021, PSALM disbursed a total amount of PHP4.349 billion to UC beneficiaries as follows:

    UC Disbursements of PSALM
    For the Months of January to March 2021 (In PHP Billion)

    Month ME (NPC-SPUG) ME (REDCI)1 EC2 SCC3 SD Total
    January 1.115 - - - 0.308 1.423
    February 1.269 0.004 - - 0.349 1.622
    March 1.020 0.003 - - 0.281 1.304
    Total 3.404 0.007 - - 0.938 4.349

    *Differences from previous submission are due to rounding off

    1/No REDCI claim with complete documentary requirements was received for the month of March 2021
    2/Awaiting ERC Order/Decision on the disbursement of UC-EC
    3/The ERC approved amount to PHP5,117,060,647.80 per ERC Dec ision on Case No. 2015-139 RC dated 10 April 2019 has been fully recovered on 20 February 2020, thus no UC-SCC disbursements was made starting March

In accordance with the ERC decision dated 28 January 2013 under Case No. 2011-091 RC, the amount of PHP0.281 billion was transferred from the UC-SD to the UC-SD SFA for the period March 2021.

B. Update on UC Imposition on Self-Generation Facilities (SGFs)

  • No updates

II. ERC - Approved UC Rates

  • A. Updates on ERC-Approved UC Rates

    The table below shows the ERC-approved UC rates being implemented as of 31 March 2021:

    Type PhP/kWh
    ME (Missionary Electrification) 0.1544
    ME - REDCI (Renewable Energy Developers Cash Incentive) 0.0017
    EC (Environmental Charge) 0.0000 1/
    SCC (Stranded Contract Cost) 0.0000 2/
    SD (Stranded Debts) 0.0428
    Total UC (Collected from all electricity end-users) 0.1989

    1/ Collection of UC-EC of PhP0.0025/kWh from all electricity end-users by all collecting entities, including NGCP, has been suspended effective 22 May 2020, until further notice from the ERC
    2/ Collection of UC-SCC of PhP0.0543/kWh from all electricity end-users by all collecting entities has ceased effective February 2020 in view of full recovery of ERC-approved SCC amount of PhP5.117 billion

  • B. Updates on UC Rate Applications

    • ME
    • The NPC filed the following petitions before the ERC for the availment of the ME share from the UC which are still pending resolution by the ERC:

      ERC Case No. Date Filed Purpose Amount (In PhP)
      2013-191 RC 20 Sep 13 Shortfall of CY 2012 Subsidy 5,370,284,135.27
      2014-089 RC 20 Jun 14 Shortfall of CY 2013 Subsidy 5,462,754,938.54
      2014-135 RC 14 Sep 14 CY 2015 Subsidy 12,093,887,870.00
      CY 2016 Subsidy 11,371,002,556.00
      2016-008 RC 26 Jan 16 Shortfall of CY 2014 Subsidy 5,895,588,224.47
      2016-134 RC 26 May 16 CY 2017 Subsidy 10,324,139,351.43
      2017-006 RC 27 Jan 17 Shortfall of CY 2015 Subsidy 1,111,902,576.28
      2017-054 RC 30 May 17 CY 2018 Subsidy 13,304,273,206.97
      2018-076 RC 13 July 18 CY 2019 Subsidy 17,804,818,088.38
      2019-004 RC 11 Jan 19 Surplus of CY 2016 (1,483,845,466.76)
      2019-069 RC 12 Sep 2019 CY 2020 Subsidy 18,460,843,967.62
      2019-084 RC 28 oct 2019 True up for 2017 849,455,932.62
      2020-004 RC 23 Jan 2020 True up for CY 2018 5,918,612,399.05
      2020-011 RC 13 Mar 2020 CY 2021 Subsidy 20,730,183,569.03
      Total 127,213,901,348.90