No rate hike in January – Meralco

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The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) on Tuesday denied that it will impose new rate increases this month.

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Meralco spokesman Joe Zaldarriaga said they are not allowed to implement any price hikes because of the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the Supreme Court (SC) on December 23.

The TRO stopped Meralco from implementing the P4.15 per kilowatt-hour increase earlier approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission.

The power distribution utility was supposed to collect in three tranches the higher transmission charges in December and in February and March this year.

The higher transmission charges was blamed on the shut down of several power plants, including the Malampaya power plant which had to undergo its annual maintenance.

News of the possibility of another rate hike this month circulated as a result of the reported supply restrictions from the Malampaya gas field, which reportedly suffered from “clogging problems.”

The incident led to a lower power supply to power plants where Meralco sources its capacity.

“We would like to inform and advise our customers that in deference to the SC order, we will maintain the rates which have been temporarily pegged at P5.67 per kwh for the generation charge,” Zaldiarraga said.

PNA

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