Meralco customers to pay higher electricity rates in August
MANILA, Philippines — Customers of the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) will pay an additional 9.65 centavos per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to P9.0036 per kWh in August from P8.9071 per kWh in July as a big chunk of its franchise areas was again placed on hard lockdown.
Metro Manila is on enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) until Aug. 20 while Laguna, Cavite, Rizal and Lucena City are on modified ECQ until Aug. 15.
Meralco said this month’s rate hike would mean an additional P19 in the monthly electricity bill of a typical residential customer billed for 200 kWh.
Meralco said the latest monthly hike — the fifth in a row that brought the total to 68.5 centavos per kWh — was mainly due to higher ancillary charges that the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) paid to generation firms and reflected on consumers’ bills as part of the transmission charge.
“The transmission charge for residential customers increased by [13.31 centavos] per kWh from P0.5992 in July to P0.7323 per kWh this month due to higher ancillary service charges, which accounted for about 36 percent of [NGCP’s] total transmission charge,” Joe Zaldarriaga, spokesperson for Meralco, told a press briefing.
Zaldarriaga said the increase in Meralco’s overall rate was tempered by the continued implementation of a refund that the Energy Regulatory Commission had ordered and which started last March. In August, the refund rate for residential customers was 27.61 centavos per kWh.
This month, the generation charge for August increased by 6.15 centavos per kWh to P4.9322 per kWh from P4.8707 per kWh last month.
The cost of Meralco supply sourced through contracts signed before 2000 — with independent power producers (IPPs) — increased by 73.89 centavos per kWh. This was attributed to the continued depreciation of the peso against the US dollar as well as higher prices of natural gas from Malampaya.
On the other hand, the cost of electricity sourced through newer contracts — power supply agreements (PSAs) — decreased by 3.47 per kWh.
For August, IPPs represent 41 percent of Meralco supply while PSAs account for 53 percent.
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