Meralco says monthly bill up by at least P114

Consumers of Manila Electric Co. will pay higher power rates of P0.5682 per kilowatt-hour this month, or equivalent to around P114 in the total monthly bill of a typical household consuming 200kWh.

Meralco said in a statement Friday after a reduction in the January bill, the overall electricity rates increased to P10.4067 per kWh this month from P9.8385 per kWh in January mainly due to the normalization of generation charges.

The company attributed the higher generation rates to the increase in charges from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market, the country’s trading floor of electricity, and power supply agreements.

The generation charge for February rose to P5.8939 per kWh, up P0.9820 per kWh from P4.9119 per kWh last month.

“After the reduction in PSA charges in January due to the early completion of annual capacity fee payments for the previous year, capacity fees this month returned to levels prescribed in the PSAs approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission,” Meralco said.

The return to normal levels of capacity fees, especially the power plants of Sual Unit 1, Ilijan, Pagbilao Unit 1 and Panay Energy Development Corp., was the main reason for the P1.9217 per kWh increase in PSA charges this month. 

Meralco secures 37 percent of its power requirement from the PSAs.

“If power plants do not use their outage allowance for the year, then by December they charge us lower or with no capacity fees. And that leads to the lower generation charge in January. Since we have a new calendar year starting January, then the capacity fees go back to normal and that will be reflected in the January generation charge,” Meralco head of utility economics Lawrence Fernandez said earlier.      

Charges from the WESM rose P1.4141 per kWh due to tighter supply conditions in Luzon as several large power plants went on scheduled maintenance outage, it said.

“More than 3,300 MW of capacity went on outage, both forced outage and due to scheduled outages. We noticed that the spot market prices responded according, meaning it went up. That might also affect the generation charge in February,” Fernandez said.

Meanwhile, the cost of power from the independent power producers, or IPPs, was slightly lower by P0.0042 per kWh due to the strengthening of the peso against the US dollar. 

About 96 percent of IPP charges are dollar-denominated. Meralco obtains 18 percent and 45 percent of electricity supply from the WESM and IPPs, respectively.

Meanwhile, transmission charge of residential customers, taxes and other charges dropped P0.4138 per kWh this month.

Meralco’s distribution, supply and metering charges have remained unchanged for 43 months after registering decreases in July 2015. 

Meralco reiterated that it does not earn from the pass-through charges, such as the generation and transmission charges.

Topics: Manila Electric Co , Meralco , Energy Regulatory Commission , Panay Energy Development , Lawrence Fernandez
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