CONSUMERS will experience higher power rates beginning this November until January 2014 as the Manila Electric Co. gets reduced energy supplies from the power plants with the scheduled maintenance of the Camago-Malampaya pipeline that fuels the Sta. Rita and Iligan plants, from where Meralco gets half the supply it distributes to households, industries and other users.
Meralco circularized its advisory by inserting it in the monthly consumer bills of consumers.
The advisory said that the scheduled reduced capacities of the Camago-Malampaya natural gas pipeline would mean that current generation capacities would have to use the expensive imported bunker and fuel.
The scheduled maintenance of the pipeline, from which the Sta. Rita and Iligan power plants obtain are fueled, is from Nov. 9 to Dec. 8. Together, these two power plants constitute 50 percent of Meralco’s energy requirements, the advisory said.
Despite this, both will continue running at a limited capacity but will have to use more expensive fuel, as opposed to the cheaper natural gas from Malampaya pipeline. In addition, Meralco will have to source more power from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM). All these will drive up generation charges, the advisory added.
To mitigate the rate impact, the Meralco said it is maximizing the purchase of energy under the Power Supply Agreements and securing new PSAs with Therma Mobile Inc for additional energy to take effect immediately upon approval by the Energy Regulatory Commission.
As a result, the anticipated upward adjustments will be signi-ficantly lower than if Meralco had been more dependent on WESM.
Meralco said it also included energy efficient tips in the brochure for consumers to follow when using aircon-ditioners and refrigerators.
Also, for the holiday season, Meralco advised the use of LED Christmas lights consumes less electricity compared to ordinary Christmas lights, while appli-ances should be in tip-top condition so as to maximize their reliability and efficiency.
Previously, the Meralco said electricity rates for November would go up by P1.24 per kWh for a typical household with monthly consumption of 200 kWh. The adjustment will translate to an additional P247 in the customers’ bill for the month.
Following the reduction of 49 centavos in October, Meralco noted a 98-centavo per kWh generation charge adjustment this month as several of its large power plants were on maintenance shutdown.
“Tight supply conditions due to these plant outages necessitated Meralco to source more electricity from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market [WESM], purchases from which posted an effective increase of P8.10 per kWh,” the company stated.
Meralco said that rate from the Power Supply Agreements (PSAs) also increased by 27 centavos per kWh, adding that these were partly mitigated by a 10-centavo per kWh reduction in the average cost of the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) because of the improvement in the IPPs’ plant dispatch.
In terms of share to Meralco’s power requirements for the supply month of October, PSAs, IPPs, and WESM accounted for 46 percent, 45 percent and nine percent, respectively.
On the other hand, transmission charge also increased by 7 centavos per kWh because of the increase in the Ancillary Service Charge of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).
“Following the higher generation and transmission charges, taxes, consisting of the value added tax and local franchise tax, also went up by 8 centavos per kWh. Similarly, other bill components, which include the system loss charge, went up by 11 centavos per kWh,” it stated.
Meanwhile, the country’s largest electricity distributor advised its customers to manage their electricity consumption to mitigate the impending increase.