THE Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) will cut rates by 58 centavos per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in September due to lower generation and other charges.
But the good news was dimmed by the rotating brownouts that hit various areas in Metro Manila (National Capital Region or NCR) on Monday.
In a statement, Meralco said the rate reduction means that the electricity bills of households consuming 200 kWh a month will go down by P116.
Meralco attributed the downward adjustment to lower generation charge, which was brought by improved availability of power plants; lower transmission charge; and decrease in other charges.
The generation charge for September went down to P5.19 per kWh, the lowest level in 2014.
“The reduction was primarily driven by the improved availability of generation plants, as less forced outages were registered by power plants during the August supply month,” Meralco said.
The improved availability of power plants led to higher utilization levels corresponding to 27 centavos and 6 centavos per kWh decreases in the average rates of suppliers with Power Supply Agreements with Meralco and of Independent Power Producers, respectively.
In addition, the improved reliability of power plants also led to lower prices in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market.
Contributing also to the overall downward adjustment is the four centavos per kWh decrease in transmission charge mainly due to lower ancillary charges.
“There was also a cumulative decrease of P0.02 per kWh in subsidies and the system loss charge. Taxes likewise decreased by P0.08 per kWh,” according to Meralco.
It, however, said one-hour rotating brownouts hit some areas in the region and in the provinces of Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite and Quezon because of deficient supply.
The Luzon grid was placed on red alert also on Monday by the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines because Calaca 2 and GN Power plants conked out.
Areas that experienced power interruptions included Sampaloc and Tondo in Manila; Grace Park in Caloocan City; Valenzuela City; Novaliches; Kaybiga; portions of Bulacan (Meycauayan, Calumpit, Santa Maria and Malolos); Las Piñas City; and areas of Malabon City and Navotas City.
Also suffering from the brownouts were Santo Tomas, Tanauan and Bolbok in Batangas; Bacoor, Dasmariñas and Tanza in Cavite; Tagaytay; Los Baños, Santa Cruz, San Pedro, San Pablo and Santa Rosa in Laguna; and Mauban, Canlubang, Candelaria and Tayabas in Quezon.
Late Monday, brownouts also hit the Central District, Diliman, Kamuning, Cubao, Libis and Bagumbayan in Quezon City; Santolan, Manggahan and Ugong in Pasig City; and Palingon, Tipas, Santa Ana, Tuktukan and Ususan in Taguig City.
As of Monday afternoon, the Luzon grid had only 483 megawatts (MW) of reserve power.The Visayas grid only had 48 MW reserve power and Mindanao, 73 MW.