Meralco rates up in March

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 10) — Customers of the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) can expect slightly higher electric bills this month as the firm announced an upward rate adjustment.

Meralco said it will raise its overall rate by ₱0.0625 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for March, bringing it to ₱9.6467/kWh.

This means a typical household consuming 200 kWh per month could expect an increase of about ₱13 in its electric bill.

Generation charge climbed this March to ₱5.4737/kWh from the prior ₱5.1957/kWh, which the power distributor attributed to higher Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) charges.

“Despite improvement of supply conditions in the Luzon grid, WESM prices remained elevated in February and the secondary price cap was imposed 5.63% of the time,” said Meralco.

“With the increase in demand and the scheduled maintenance outage of Quezon Power and First Gas-San Lorenzo plants, Meralco sourced additional supply from the WESM in the February supply month,” it added.

Charges from independent power producers (IPPs) likewise went up by ₱0.1625/kWh with the lower dispatch of Quezon Power and First Gas-San Lorenzo due to maintenance outages.

Such shutdowns were done to ensure their supply is available during the summer months and election period, noted Meralco.

“Peso depreciation against the US dollar also contributed to the increase in IPP costs, since around 97% of these costs are dollar-denominated,” it added.

Meralco also reported higher charges from power supply agreements (PSAs) this March.

The ₱0.1510/kWh rise this month came as “the dispatch of First NatGas-San Gabriel plant continued to be affected by Malampaya facility’s inability to supply sufficient natural gas,” said the company.

The power distributor also cited lower excess energy deliveries – priced at a discount – as another factor to higher PSA costs.