Meralco rates down in May due to P7.8B refund

Angelica Y. Yang - Philstar.com
Meralco rates down in May due to P7.8B refund
This file photo shows Meralco workers.
The STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila-based households consuming 200 kilowatt-hours (kWh) can expect to pay P24 less for electricity this month, as power distributor Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) will be starting the refund of P7.8 billion worth in overcharges to consumers in May.

The refund's rollout brought down the overall power rate for a typical household to P10.0630 per kWh, lower by P0.1200 compared to last month's level, Meralco said in an emailed statement on Wednesday. 

“The immediate implementation of the ERC’s order more than offset the impact of the increase of the generation charge this month, benefitting Meralco customers," Meralco Head of Regulatory Management Jose Ronald Valles said. 

Meralco previously said it will comply with an order from the Energy Regulatory Commission to refund a total of P7.8 billion in overrecoveries to its consumers over a 12-month period, adding that it will implement the refund starting this month. 

Acording to Valles, Meralco is constantly updating its rates to be "fair and reasonable" to consumers. 

Those consuming 300 kWh, 400 kWh and 500 kWh can expect to see a reduction of P36, P48 and P60, respectively, in their May power bills.

Higher generation charge

The generation charge, or the cost of power generated, rose by P0.3553 to P6.2277 per kWh, Meralco announced. 

The company explained that it paid more for electricity it bought from power supply agreements (PSAs) mainly due to higher prices from the Malampaya project caused by the recent spikes in global crude oil prices. PSAs contributed a 48% share to the company’s total energy needs this month.

The company added that it paid less, however, for charges from independent power producers and wholesale electricity spot market (WESM), which have a combined 52% in Meralco's power requirements. 

Meanwhile, Meralco shelled out less for transmission charges, taxes and other fees, which registered a drop of P0.0084 per kWh.

No major power interruption during polls

The company said that its franchise area did not experience any "major power interruption" during the May 9 elections, but reported that there were 35 isolated outage incidents which were immediately addressed. 

“The power outages were all isolated cases and were immediately restored. We thank our crew, contractors, and customer care group for their round-the-clock assistance to the polling and canvassing centers and local government units,” said Meralco Spokesperson and Vice President for Corporate Communications Joe Zaldarriaga.

He added that they are prepared to respond to any distribution-related problem until the elections are over. 

Meralco is the largest distribution utility in the country, and serves the capital Metro Manila, Rizal, Cavite and Bulacan, and portions of Pampanga, Batangas, Laguna and Quezon.





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