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, Interests & Disbursements

    As of 31 March 2023, remittances of collecting entities (CEs) to PSALM amounted to PHP247.159 billion, while interest earnings from deposits and placements of UC funds amounted to PHP0.348 billion. On the other hand, UC fund disbursements amounted to PHP245.380 billion. Below are the details of UC remittances, interests and disbursements

    Universal Charge Remittances, Interests and Disbursements
    As of 31 March 2023 (In PHP Billion)

    Particulars Remittances 1/ Interest Disbursements 2/
    Special Trust Funds: Missionary Electrification (ME) - NPC SPUG 144.491 0.045 144.530
    ME - Renewable Energy Developer Cash Incentive (REDCI) 1.244 0.036 0.564
    Environmental Charge (EC) 3/ 2.563 0.183 1.986
    Stranded Contract Cost (SCC)4/ 80.955 0.082 80.393
    Stranded Debts 17.906 0.002 17.907
    Total 247.159 0.348 245.380

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

    1. UC-ME and EC

      • PHP144.530 billion and PHP1.986 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 and UC SD

      • PHP80.393 billion and PHP17.907 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. 1 Balance includes CEs’ remittances during the period 16-28 March 2023 which were deposited to the Main Trust Account (MTA) but will be transferred to each UC-STF on 20 Marchy 2023, pursuant to Section 7 (c) of the ERC approve Guidelines and Procedure Governing Remittances and Disbursements of the UC (UC Guidelines)
      2 Includes Disbursement to Oriental Mindoro Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ORMECO) in the total amount of PHP40,442,954.47, for the recovery of fuel costs chargeable against the UC-ME fund, pursuant to ERC Orders dated 16 June 2014 and 24 September 2014 covering ERC Case No. 2013-191RC
      3 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
      4 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

    4. REDCI

      • Cash Incentives totaling PHP0.564 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) 0.989
        Sunwest Water and Electric Co. (SUWECO) for the 1.5 MW Hitoma 1 & 2.1 MW Solong Hydroelectric Power Plants 1.971
        ORMECO for the 2.1 MW Linao Cawayan Mini-Hydro Power Plant (LCMHPP) 1.085
        Philippine Hybrid Energy Systems (PHESI) 1.598
        TOTAL 0.564

        • Remittances for March 2023

        For the month of March 2023, PHP1.512 billion in UC remittances was received by PSALM, broken down as follows:

        UC Remittances to PSALM

        For the Months of January to March 2023 (In PHP Billion)

        Month ME (NPC-SPUG) ME (REDCI) EC SCC SD Total
        January 1.555 0.017 0.000 0.001 0.374 1.947
        February 1.325 0.014 0.000 0.001 0.341 1.681
        March 1.209 0.012 0.000 0.004 0.289 1.512
        Total 4.089 0.043 0.000 0.004 1.004 5.140

        *Differences from previous submission are due to rounding off

        UC Disbursements of PSALM

        For the Months of January to March 2023 (In PHP Billion)

        Month ME (NPC-SPUG) ME (REDCI) EC SCC SD Total
        January 1.664 - - - 0.400 2.064
        February 1.332 0.014 0.494 - 0.343 2.183
        March 1.209 0.012 - - 0.289 1.509
        Total 4.202 0.028 0.494 - 1.032 5.756

        *Differences from previous submission are due to rounding off

        1/ No REDCI claim with complete documentary requirements was received for the month of March 2023
        2/ Awaiting UC Disbursement Request Form from NPC and the supporting documents pursuant to ERC Order under ERC Case Nos. 2010-019 RC, 2011-067 RC, 2012-040 RC and 2013-038 RC dated 27 April 2022

        In accordance with the ERC decision dated 28 January 2013 under Case No. 2011-091 RC, the amount of PHP0.289 billion was transferred from the UC-SD to the UC-SD SFA for the period March 2023.

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

        • No Updates

    VI. ERC- Approved UC Rates

    1. A. Updates on ERC-Approved UC Rates
    2. The table below shows the ERC-approved UC rates being implemented as of 31 March 2023:

      ERC-Approved UC Rates
      Type UC Rate (In PhP/kWh)
      ME 0.1783 1/
      ME – REDCI 0.0017
      EC 0.0000 2/
      SCC 0.0000 3/
      SD 0.0428 4/
      Total UC 0.2228

      1/ Additional UC ME true up rate of PhP0.0239/kWh as approved by ERC on 04 August 2022 in addition to the UC-ME of PhP0.1544/kWh
      2/ 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.
      3/ 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.
      4/ UC-SD approved by the ERC prior to RA 11371 or the Murang Kuryente Act. As of 30 June 2022, there is still unrecovered UC-SD to be collected from electricity end-users amounting to PHP21.87 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)
      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
      2021-017 RC 16 Mar 2021 Shortfall of CY 2019 Subsidy 7,562,400,703.79
      2021-022-RC 31 Mar 2021 CY 2022 Subsidy 20,209,687,236.96
      2022-014-RC 15 Mar 2022 CY 2023 Subsidy 20,462,800,653.03
      2022-030-RC 15 Mar 2022 Shortfall of CY 2020 Subsidy 5,542,978,254.51
      Total 175,621,484,061.92
    • EC

    • The following petitions for the availment of the EC share from the Universal Charge were filed by NPC before the ERC for its resolution:

      ERC Case No. Date Filed Purpose Amount (In PhP)
      2016-019 RC 14-Mar-2016 CY 2016 UC-EC Availment 426,710,057.72
      2017-021 RC 15-Mar-2017 CY 2017 UC-EC Availment 431,192,804.80
      2018-103 RC 15-Oct-2018 CY 2018 UC-EC Availment 239,350,386.41
      2019-021 RC 03 Mar 2019 CY 2019 UC-EC Availment 240,425,017.78
      2021-023 RC 31 Mar 2021 CY 2022 UC-EC Availment 246,550,016.81
      2022-013-RC 14 Mar 2022 Plan 18 UC-EC Availment 335,548,019.33
      Total 1,919,776,302.85
  • C. Updates on the Pending UC-SCC and UC-SD filed before the ERC

    In view of the effectivity of the Murang Kuryente Act (MKA) and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR), ERC, in its Order dated 28 May 2020, dismissed the following PSALM UC-SCC applications:

    ERC Case No. Date Filed Purpose Amount (In PhP)
    2017-066 RC 06 July 2017 CY 2016 UC-SCC Availment 3,686,192,736.05
    2019-048 31 July 2018 CY 2016 UC-SCC Availment 5,228,678,356.46

    For UC-SD, the CY 2014 True-Up Adjustment Motion for Reconsideration filed by PSALM on 06 June 2019 amounting to PHP1,578,164,643.22 was declared moot and academic by ERC in its Order dated 28 May 2020 as posted in their website.

    The following UC-SD True-Up Adjustment applications were likewise dismissed due to the effectivity of the MKA and its IRR:

    ERC Case No. Date Filed Purpose Amount (In PhP)
    2016-150 RC 30 June 2016 CY 2015 True-Up Adjustment 27,670,386,541.73
    2017-069 RC 31 July 2017 CY 2016 UC-SCC Availment 34,642,180,036.26
    2018-087 RC 31 July 2018 CY 2017 True-Up Adjustment 11,804,635,030.22
    019-047 RC 25 June 2019 CY 2018 True-Up Adjustment 4,722,490,975.31