Meralco lowers power rates in January but warns of possible increase next month

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 11) — Meralco customers may see a decrease in their electricity bills for January - but better save up those pesos since rates will increase once again come February, due to the tax reform law.

The power distributor says it's lowering rates by over P 0.52-centavos this month because of a reduction in generation charges.

This means a typical household consuming 200 kilowatt hours (kWh) per month will pay P105 less, while those consuming 500 per kWh will save more than P 260.

By February, Meralco said typical households may pay an additional P16.16 on top of their monthly bill due to the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) or tax reform law, effective since January 1.

The law hiked the excise tax on oil, from zero to P2.50 per liter, as well as in coal, from P10 to P50 per metric ton.

Around 32 percent of Meralco energy comes from coal, while 0.9 percent comes from oil, as of November 2017.

The power distributor encouraged the public to practice energy efficiency tips to manage electricity consumption, especially as summer approaches.

This includes unplugging appliances, using aircon at mid-setting, utilizing a power board, and maximizing the use of natural light during daytime, among others.