Meralco slashes power rates for households | Inquirer News
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Meralco slashes power rates for households

/ 04:54 AM February 09, 2021

Residential customers of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) will be charged seven centavos less for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity they consume this month, or a P14 reduction for households billed for 200 kWh. The slight decrease followed a rise of 27.44 centavos per kWh in January after two consecutive months of downshifts last December and November.

In its February billing, Meralco’s overall rate eased to P8.6793 per kWh from P8.7497 in January.

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“This month’s rate still includes the ERC-approved adjustments for Meralco’s pass-through over/underrecoveries for the period January 2017 to December 2019,” said the company’s vice president, Joe Zaldarriaga.

Generation charges

He was referring to an order by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for Meralco to return to customers a total of P1.4 billion in excess collection of the transmission charge, system loss charge, lifeline subsidy and senior citizen subsidy.

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The ERC also ordered Meralco to recover from customers a total of P2.38 billion in undercollected generation charges.

For this month’s billing, Meralco’s overall rate was pulled down mainly by a 4.2-centavo decrease in the charges, attributed to lower fixed charges from the utility’s suppliers from 2000 onward. These represented more than half or 53 percent of supply.

Moreover, the decline helped offset an increase in charges by suppliers with contracts signed in the 1990s, which provided about 40 percent of Meralco’s supply.

This was blamed mainly on natural gas from Malampaya getting more expensive, as well as peso depreciation against the US dollar.

At the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market, which accounted for 7 percent of Meralco’s supply, prices jumped by about 96 centavos per kWh due to more idle power plants in the Luzon grid.

The transmission charge went down by 1.28 centavos per kWh, along with taxes and other charges by 1.54 centavos per kWh. INQ

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