Meralco rates up in June

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 11) — Customers of the Manila Electric Company may expect higher electric bills this month with the power distributor announcing a rate increase this June.

On Friday, Meralco said rates will go up by ₱0.0798 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) this June mainly due to higher charges on the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market. This means typical households consuming 200 kWh a month will see their electric bills go up by around ₱16, the power distributor said.

Tight supply conditions in the Luzon grid drove WESM charges up by ₱1.6322 per kWh in June, said the company.

“With the increase in temperature and economic activity, demand in the grid increased by 1,131 MW from 10,425 MW in April to 11,556 MW in May,” it further said.

Meanwhile, Power Supply Agreements (PSAs) and Independent Power Producers (IPPs) saw charges go down in June. Costs fell by ₱0.0476 per kWh and ₱0.0037 per kWh respectively because of “improved plant dispatch and peso appreciation,” said Meralco.

Transmission charge, taxes, and other charges logged a mild ₱0.0101 per kWh increase in June, it added.

Generation charge also went up by ₱0.0697 per kWh this month.

Meralco Head of Utility Economics Larry Fernandez told a virtual briefing the red alert declaration for the Luzon power grid starting end-May was still not reflected in June's generation charge. 

While this will instead be seen in July's generation charge, Fernandez is not concluding an upward rate adjustment next month just yet.

"'Yung June, while prices were higher, we'll need to see what happens in the next couple of weeks," the Meralco official said.

He also noted that demand is below 11,000 mega-watts at present, with weather getting cooler due to the rainy season.

"Malaki ang binaba ng [There was a huge drop in] demand when the rainy season officially started," Fernandez explained.

Senate Energy Committee chairman Sherwin Gatchalian earlier warned of possible rotating brownouts for Luzon residents until early July due to thin power reserves. 

For his part, Meralco spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga said the company's preparedness in terms of ensuring enough power supply is "established," noting they have already covered their requirements.