Meralco hikes Sept. rate

Power distribution company Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) will be implementing a rate increase of P0.8642 per kilowatt hour (kWh), which will reflect on the September billing cycle.

In a statement released on Thursday, Meralco attributed the adjustment to a higher generation charge because of higher prices in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) and the depreciation of the Philippine peso.

For a household that consumes 200 kWh, the September rate will translate to a P172.84 increase; 300 kWh, P259.26; 400 kWh, P345.68; and 500 kWh, P432.10.


But Meralco said the September rate will return to pre-refund levels after completing the refund of over-recovery on pass-through charges between January 2014 and December 2016 amounting to about P6.9 billion.

The Energy Regulatory Commission last May 11 approved a petition of the power distributor for refund that was implemented from June to August this year.

“The refund was not shown as a separate line item in the bill but was reflected as reductions in the different pass-through charges of the bill, which include generation, transmission, and system loss charges and lifeline and senior citizen subsidies,” Meralco said.

The overall generation charge rose to P4.5378 per kWh this month from P3.9763 per kWh in August.

WESM prices climbed by P1.7263 per kWh as rates in the spot market surged because of the higher power demand in the Luzon grid.

Transmission charge of residential customers fell by P0.0510 per kWh, while taxes and other charges added P0.3537 per kWh.

Distribution, supply and metering charges have remained unchanged for 26 months since their recorded reduction in July 2015.

The cost from Power Supply Agreements (PSAs) slightly increased to P0.0263 per kWh, primarily because of peso devaluation and lower plant dispatch.

But the power cost from the independent power producers (IPPs) slid by P0.1117 per kWh on the improved dispatch of First Gas-Santa Rita after its scheduled maintenance in the previous month.

Shares of WESM, PSAs and IPPs touched 12 percent, 42 percent and 46 percent, respectively.

JORDEENE LAGARE

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