Christmas may not be merry for customers of the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) after the utility announced on Wednesday an increase in electricity rates effective this month.
The hike will be P0.055 per kilowatt hour, equivalent to P11 for a typical household consuming 200 kWh, Meralco said.
The utility company said the move to raise the rates came on the back of an increase in generation charge of P0.046 per kWh from last month imposed by power generating companies.
Charges from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) also rose by P0.535 per kWh due to lower generation supply provided by hydro plants.
In addition to higher generation charges, transmission charges registered an increase of P0.007 per kWh because of higher ancillary service charges.
There was also a combined increase of P0.002 per kWh in taxes and other charges (system loss and subsidies) after the hikes in the generation and transmission charges.
Meralco’s distribution, supply and metering charges remain unchanged after a reduction last July.
The power distributor cited fewer forced outages in November compared with October.
Plants under the Power Supply Agreements (PSAs) also registered a slight increase of P0.009 per kWh, primarily due to a lower dispatch by the Calaca plant and an increase in fuel cost at the Ilijan plant, driven by the weakening of the peso against the dollar.
Meralco, however, said the December rate is almost 13 percent lower compared with the rate a year ago.
At P8.605 kWh, this month’s overall rate is lower by P1.260 per kWh, compared with P9.865 per kWh a year earlier.
The power firm pointed out that this month’s overall rate is the fourth lowest since January 2010. The lower rates this 2015 were attributed to successive reductions in the generation charge starting May this year, coupled with a reduction in the distribution charge of Meralco in July.
The generation charge will end 2015 at P4.130 per kWh, which is P0.807 per kWh lower than the December 2014 charge and the third lowest since January 2010.
The average rate of the plants under the Independent Power Producers (IPPs), meanwhile, dropped by P0.005 per kWh. This was driven by the higher dispatch of Santa Rita plant in the absence of outages in November.
The plant’s Module 30 had a five-day scheduled outage in October.
The share of PSAs, IPPs and WESM in Meralco’s total power requirements stood at 49.9 percent, 44.4 percent, and 5.7 percent, respectively.
Meralco reiterated that it does not earn from the pass-through charges, such as the generation and transmission charges.
Payment for the generation charge goes to the power suppliers, while payment for the transmission charge goes to the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines.