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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Lower Meralco bill, rollback in fuel prices set

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Filipinos are getting some relief from the high prices of fuel and electricity this month.

Consumers can expect a price rollback for petroleum products of as much as P2 per liter by Tuesday next week as it reflects the movement of prices in the world oil market.

Rodela Romero, Department of Energy director for the Oil Industry Management Bureau, said that based on the four-day trading period, diesel and kerosene will go down by more than P2 per liter, but gasoline by less than P0.10 per liter.

An oil industry source told the Standard diesel may go down by P2 to P2.20 per liter, while gasoline is expected to go down by P0.05 per liter or no price change. It would be the second consecutive week of price rollbacks for fuel.

Meanwhile, customers of the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) will see lower bills as the power distributor slashed its household electricity rate for February.

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In an advisory, Meralco said its overall household rate was cut by P0.0106 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to P10.8895 per kWh, from January’s P10.9001 per kWh.

The reduction translates to a decrease of P2.12 in the electricity bill of a typical household consuming 200 kWh.

On the oil price rollback, Romero said: “Yes (there’s a rollback) though it’s only for the four-day trading (estimate), so the level of the rollback would still depend on Friday [trading results].”

She said world oil prices declined after the US Energy Information Agency recorded an inventory build of 2.4 million barrels.

Fears of a tighter US monetary policy like further interest rate hikes also affected world prices.

“These reasons outweighed the signs of demand recovery in China,” Romero said.

On Feb. 7, local oil companies implemented a P2.10 per liter price rollback for gasoline, cutting diesel by P3, and kerosene by P2.30.

This resulted in a total net increase this year at P5.10 per liter for gasoline, P0.05 per liter for diesel, and P2.25 per liter for kerosene.

Meanwhile, Meralco attributed its lower rates to the decline in generation charge by 21.37 centavos to P6.9154 per kWh from P7.1291 per kWh the previous month due to lower costs from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) and Independent Power Producers (IPPs) offset an increase in charges from Power Supply Agreements (PSAs).

In particular, WESM charges decreased by P3.7370 per kWh as the supply situation in the Luzon grid improved with less generation capacity on outage, lower demand, and the absence of yellow alerts.

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