Meralco cuts power rates


Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), the country’s largest power distributor, will lower this month’s power rates for its residential customers by 57 centavos per kilowatthour (kWh).

For a typical household consuming 200 kWh, the overall electricity bill will go down by P114 compared to that of last month.

At P8.55 per kWh, this month’s overall rate is lower by P1.81 compared to the P10.36 per kWh in September last year.

This brings the total reduction to P2.13 per kWh over the past five months.

The September reduction also marks the seventh time this year that rates have gone down.

According to Meralco, this is the lowest in more than five years or since January 2010.

The power rate reduction was primarily driven by lower generation costs from Power Supply Agreements (PSAs) and Independent Power Producers (IPPs) because of higher dispatch.

The generation charge decreased by 42 centavos per kWh from last month.

At P4.13 per kWh, this September’s generation charge is also the lowest since January 2010.

Several large generating units, namely, South Premiere Power (Ilijan), Sem-Calaca Power, Quezon Power and Therma Luzon (Pagbilao) improved their dispatch levels in August after experiencing plant outages during the July 2015 supply month.

In particular, Ilijan increased dispatch level from 48 percent in July to 81 percent in August.

Ilijan 1 was on a scheduled maintenance in July while Ilijan 2 was “derated” during the Malampaya gas restriction last July 13 to 16.

Meanwhile, lower fuel costs from Malampaya brought down prices from the First Gen plants (Santa Rita and San Lorenzo).

Apart from the lower generation costs, adjustments from prior months (e.g., cover cost deductions from Malampaya, following the supply restrictions from previous months) helped further bring down the generation charge for September.

Charges from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), on the other hand, registered a negligible increase of 6 centavos per kWh.

Shares of PSAs, IPPs and WESM to Meralco’s total power requirements, meanwhile, were at 47, 46 and 7 percent, from the previous month’s levels of 43, 46 and 11 percent, respectively.

In addition to the generation charge, transmission charge also registered a reduction of 4 centavos per kWh because of lower Power Delivery Service and ancillary service charges.

Taxes and other charges also went down by 5 centavos per kWh and 6 centavos per kWh, respectively.

Meralco’s distribution, supply and metering charges remain unchanged after they registered a reduction last July.

Oil price hike
Seaoil Philippines Inc. (SPI) and Eastern Petroleum Corp. will hike prices of their gasoline and diesel products effective Tuesday.

SPI said in an advisory it will raise gasoline prices by P1.75 per liter and diesel prices by P1.95 per liter.

It will also increase its kerosene products by P1.85 per liter.

Eastern Petroleum Corp., on the other hand, said it will hike gasoline prices by P1.70 per liter and diesel by P1.90 per liter.

It explained that the price hike was caused by the supply cut from oil-exporting countries because of low demand.

The oil company added that analysts are hoping that with the latest oil price rebound global oil prices had already hit their lowest.

“Analysts are hopeful that world oil prices have already seen [their]bottom price, while maintaining that the volatility in world oil prices would remain for the rest of the year,” it said.

SPI said it will apply the price changes at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, while Eastern Petroleum’s new rates will take effect at 6 a.m. Tuesday.

According to the Energy department’s oil price monitor, diesel prices are playing between P23.10-26.77 per liter, with a common price of P23.95 per liter.

Gasoline, on the other hand, has a price range of P35.40-41 per liter. It has a common price of P40.20 per liter.

Entry of Iran oil
The P1.75 to P1.95 per liter oil price hike this week is unlikely to keep going with the entry of oil sourced from Iran to the international market, the Energy department said also on Monday.

Acting Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada made the announcement in light of the oil price hike on Monday that hiked prices for gasoline (P1.75 per liter), diesel (P1.95 per liter) and kerosene (P1.85 per liter).

“We don’t see this price hike continuing because the oil from Iran is coming in. They [Iran] are not sanctioned by Western countries anymore so we see this tempering the oil prices significantly,” Monsada told reporters.

She was referring to the July 2015 nuclear accord reached between Iran and six powerful nations: United States, China, Russia, the United Kingdom, France and Germany wherein Iran will be allowed to ramp up its energy exports in exchange for Iran cutting back on its nuclear program.

Monsada said Iran’s oil production can reach three million barrels per day.

“We don’t know how much of that three million barrels will go to the international market, but [it is]safe to say it could reach one million barrels a day,” she added.

Monsada said the P2 per liter oil price hike is not really bad news, considering that there have been two rounds of rollbacks for a combined worth of P5 per liter in the last four months.

“Let’s not forget that we had two consecutive rollbacks, so this one-time almost P2.00 hike per liter is still far from offsetting that. The oil price in the world market increased to $6 dollars per barrel on the average last week, and that would translate to P2.00 for us,” she pointed out.

“It has really been up and down because the market has been very volatile,” Monsada said.



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