Meralco power rates drop in February

Angelica Y. Yang - Philstar.com
Manila Electric Company staff install electric wiring on a newly erected post on Santan Street at Barangay Payatas in Quezon City on Monday, Aug. 2, 2021.
The STAR / Boy Santos

MANILA, Philippines — Typical households in Metro Manila can expect to see a decrease of P24 in their power bills this month as Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) announced a lower overall rate as the generation charge slid down.

February's overall power rate for residential households consuming 200 kilowatt hour (kWh) stands at P9.5842 per kWh (/kWh), lower by P0.1185 compared with January's level.

Other households consuming 300, 400 and 500 kWh will see a drop of P35, P46 and P56, respectively, in their monthly power bills. 

This marks the second time the firm has lowered its power rates this year.

The company said this month's generation charge stood at P5.1957/kWh, lower by P0.2305 versus the figure in January. This was driven by decreased charges from independent power producers (IPPs) and the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM)- a venue where power distributors can buy additional power at much higher costs compared to pre-agreed supply deals. 

The charges from IPPs and the spot market offset the increase in rates from power supply agreements (PSAs), which rose by P0.1631/kWh due to "lower demand that led to lower excess deliveries which were already priced at a discount."

The Pangilinan-run utility was referring to its PSAs with AC Energy, San Miguel Energy Corp. through its Sual plant, and South Premiere Power Corp. through its Ilijan plant. 

Meralco sources majority of its energy requirements from IPPs at 52.5%, PSAs at 47.4% and the spot market at 0.4%.

Meanwhile, the firm said its transmission charge went up by P0.0454 per kWh due to higher charges from ancillary services and power delivery services. 

Meralco, the country's largest private sector distribution utility which serves 36 cities and 75 municipalities, is in the process of implementing its "distribution rate true-up refund" of P13.9 billion over a period of 24 months or until the amount is fully refunded, to customers. 

The firm said the refund, which appears as "Dist True-up" in power bills, "continues to temper the upward movements of rates."

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