Meralco announces new rate hike

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  • Power retailer Manila Electric Co. said Monday power rates will go up by P0.23 per kilowatt-hour this month, on the back of higher generation charges.

    Meralco, the country’s biggest power distributor, said in a statement the power rate for a typical residential household will go up to P9.89 per kWh from last month’s P9.67 per kWh.

    This amounts to a P45-increase in the monthly bill of a typical residential household consuming 200 kWh.

    Meralco made the announcement coinciding with another round of oil price hikes.  Oil firms raised the price of gasoline by P1.10 per liter, diesel by P0.90 per liter and kerosene by P0.90 per liter to reflect the movement of oil prices in the international market.

    Seaoil Philippines, PTT Philippines, Eastern Petroleum and other oil firms issued the advisories for the price increase effective 6 a.m. Tuesday. Other oil companies are expected to follow the announcement.

    Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said the oil price increase was due to rising global demand and supply disruption in oil producing countries such as Libya.

    Meralco said the rate increase in April was mostly due to the upward movement in the generation charge which 

    included the staggered impact of the Malampaya shutdown approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission.

    Meralco said contributing to the increase was the higher cost of power sourced from independent power producers or IPPs and the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market, the country’s trading floor of electricity.

    Meralco’s generation charge alone increased P0.20 per kWh to P5.10 per kWh from P4.90 per kWh in March because of the P0.39-per-kWh increase in the cost of power sourced from IPPs and the P0.78-per-kWh rise in WESM prices. 

    Higher IPP costs were primarily due to the low dispatch of Quezon Power Philippines Ltd., while the increase in WESM prices was attributed to plant outages and higher demand.

    Meralco said power demand in Luzon rose 790 MW in March from February. The company sourced 34 percent and 14 percent of power from its IPPs and the WESM, respectively.

    Meralco, meanwhile, said the cost of power from its  power supply agreements or PSAs or independent power supply agreements or IPSAs decreased by P0.36 per kWh. Meralco sourced 52 percent from these agreements.

    Transmission charges to residential consumers also decreased slightly by P0.0629 per kWh due to lower ancillary service charges. Taxes and other charges went up by a combined amount of P0.094 per kWh.

    Meralco’s distribution, supply and metering charges were unchanged. (A. M. Flores, MS)

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