• Meralco cuts June rates

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    FOR the second straight month, power consumers in Meralco-serviced areas will enjoy reduced rates.

    The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) on Monday announced a 58 centavo per kilowatt hour (kWh) rate cut this June, citing a decrease in generation charge.

    The biggest reduction in rates stemmed from the lower generation charge, which decreased by 36 centavos per kWh. Meralco said the rate is the lowest since October 2010.

    Illustrating how the rate cut would affect consumers, Meralco said a typical household consuming 200 kWh will have its power bill go down by P116 while that consuming 500 kWh will have its bill reduced by P290.

    In June, Meralco implemented a 70 centavo per kWh reduction, equivalent to a P1.28 per kWh rate cut over the past two months.

    Larry Fernandez, head of the power firm’s Utility Economics section , said the reduction was mainly driven by lower charges from generating companies under the Independent Power Producers and Power Supply Agreements because of lower fuel costs and higher dispatch.

    The natural gas power plants Ilijan, First Gas-Santa Rita and First Gas-San Lorenzo started operating on less expensive natural gas when the maintenance shutdown of supplier Malampaya ended in May.

    “In the May supply month, both plants were able to run generally on Malampaya natural gas, which is cheaper than the alternate liquid fuel,” Fernandez said.

    In addition to the generation charge, the transmission charge also registered a decline of 9 centavos per kWh. Taxes and other charges also went down by a total of 13 centavos per kWh.

    Meralco spokesman Joe Zaldarriaga reiterated the company does not earn from generation and transmission charges as these are pass-through costs.

    The generation charge goes to the power suppliers, while the transmission charge goes to the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, the company operating and maintaining the power transmission lines in Luzon.

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