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Meralco rates rising this month

By: - Reporter / @kocampoINQ
/ 05:54 AM March 11, 2022

People line up to pay their electricity bills at a Meralco branch on Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City. —NIÑO JESUS ORBETA/INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Customers of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) will pay an additional P9.65 centavos per kilowatt-hour (kWh) this month from P9.5842 in February due to higher charges from its suppliers and the peso’s depreciation against the US dollar.

In a briefing on Tuesday, Joe Zaldarriaga, Meralco’s vice president for communications, said the new rates would result in an increase of around P13 in the total bill of a household typically consuming 200 kWh.

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The new rates for this month have yet to reflect the expected impact of rising oil prices in the world market, according to Meralco utility economic head Lawrence Fernandez.

This is because the rates for the supply of the Malampaya gas field, where Meralco gets a huge chunk of its supply, will not be changed until April. Malampaya is affected by the world crude prices.

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As to the increase in this month’s billing, Meralco said it would be due to higher charges from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), the independent power producers (IPPs), and the power supply agreements (PSAs).

Would have been higher

During the supply month, the WESM, IPPs, and PSAs accounted for 13.9 percent, 32.7 percent, and 53.4 percent, respectively, of Meralco’s requirement.

The higher charges were brought on by the lower dispatch of major power plants due to maintenance shutdowns, and secondary price cap imposed at WESM.

Zaldarriaga said the increase in this month’s power rates would have been higher if not for the implementation of an additional distribution rate true-up refund, which is equivalent to a reduction of P0.19 centavos a month.

Generation costs of up to P500 million were also deferred to cushion the impact of higher electricity rates, which will be recovered in the next three months.

Historically, electricity consumption increases in summer by 10 to 40 percent.

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TAGS: Electricity, MERALCO, power hike
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