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Meralco bills rise in April as power demand spikes on warm weather
“As temperature increases, appliances that have compressors, like air conditioners or refrigerators, will have to work harder. Electric fans are also used longer than usual, and often at ‘high’ setting to beat the summer heat,” Meralco said.
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Meralco bills rise in April as power demand spikes on warm weather

Ramon Royandoyan (Philstar.com) - April 8, 2021 - 1:56pm

MANILA, Philippines— Customers of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) will see higher bills this month as power bought and distributed by the company gets costlier with the onset of dry season.

It is typical for power costs to rise when weather is warmer because air-conditioning units are in full blast, and demand spikes from normal averages and outstrips supply. For this month, a typical household consuming 200 kilowatt per hour will see bills increase by an average of P17.

Across all customers, Meralco rates will go up from P0.0872 per kWh this month after falling to their lowest in over 3 years in March after mandated refunds by regulators were credited. Those refunds will continue for this billing period and help offset higher charges.

The refunds are coming from two regulatory decisions. First was an order from regulators for the Pangilinan-led utility to credit back consumers “over/under-recoveries” from January 2017 to December 2019. The second decision was a result of a pleading from Meralco itself to the Energy Regulatory Commission and would appear as “Dist True-Up” that stands for distribution true-up on bills.

In a statement on Thursday, Meralco said current power charges this month will increase due to more expensive power rom the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), where electricity costs will go up by P2.5591 per kWh.

WESM, the main electricity market, supplies 11% of Meralco’s energy needs and for this month, Meralco said “warmer temperature” and lower supplies “from power outages” prompted the hike.

Mitigating that increase are lower prices from independent power producers and other suppliers that corner the bulk of 89% of Meralco’s power. In addition, transmission charges, which represent bills paid to bring electricity from suppliers to Meralco so the latter can distribute energy to consumers, will also go down by P0.0856 per kWh in April.

“As temperature increases, appliances that have compressors, like air conditioners or refrigerators, will have to work harder. Electric fans are also used longer than usual, and often at ‘high’ setting to beat the summer heat,” Meralco said.

Following state orders to delay power disconnections until March 31, Meralco likewise extended this relief to households consuming until April 15. This extension is for areas under the Greater Manila area bubble, which covers Metro Manila, Laguna, Rizal, Cavite and Bulacan. Those areas had been placed under tight lockdowns since March 29.

Ahead of the long weekend starting Friday's Araw ng Kagitingan, shares in Meralco sank 1.13% to close at P280.60 apiece on Thursday.

MANILA ELECTRIC COMPANY (MERALCO) MERALCO AVE MVP NOVEL CORONAVIRUS
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