Power rate hike looms

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Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), the country’s largest power distributor, hinted that there could be an increase in electricity rates this month.

Meralco spokesman Joe Zaldarriaga on Tuesday said the increase might stem from higher generation charge (gencharge) rate.

He explained that there were several instances of yellow alerts in the supply month of July that may impact August bills.

Zaldarriaga said they noted supply restrictions from Malampaya that may have prompted power plants to resort to utilizing liquid fuel.


He, however, said they still have to wait for billings from their suppliers to determine the rate adjustment.

“We need to wait for all the billings from our suppliers to have an actual view of rates for August,” Zaldarriaga said.

Last month, the lower Meralco distribution charge offset the higher generation charge, which increased by 28 centavos per kilowatt-hour (kWh).

Meralco’s lower distribution charge for July was provisionally approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

Meralco had filed an application before the ERC to implement a reduced distribution charge.

Issuance of the ERC order reflected the lower distribution charge by 11.26 percent in the bills of customers starting July.

The increase in last month’s gencharge was mainly driven by higher prices at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) for the June supply month, which registered an increase of P 5.05 per kWh.

Numerous instances of forced outages by various power plants also triggered a number of yellow alerts (affecting 3 days for the June supply month), thereby putting more upward pressure on WESM prices.

Despite the elevated market prices, the secondary price cap was not triggered.

The Malampaya gas restrictions during the June supply month also resulted in the use of more expensive alternative fuel (condensate) by First Gas plants.

As a result, cost of power from plants under the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) increased by 7 centavos per kWh.

Water interruption
Water supply will be interrupted in several service areas of Maynilad Water Services from August 10 to August 18 as the utility concessionaire realigns a primary pipeline in Tondo, Manila.

The realignment aims to give way to a flood-control project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Maynilad would realign its primary line along Juan Luna Street andHermosa Street in Tondo.

Its primary pipeline is in the path of an interceptor drainage pipe of DPWH that would be laid along Blumentritt Street so it can direct floodwaters from northern parts of Metro Manila to the Manila Bay.

Areas that would be affected by the rotating water supply interruptions are portions of Caloocan, Manila, Pasay, Makati, Parañaque, Muntinlupa, Las Piñas, Cavite City, Bacoor City, Imus City, and the towns of Kawit, Rosario and Noveleta in Cavite.

Several areas of the West Zone would experience rotating water service interruptions, ranging from 12 to 41 hours beginning 1 p.m. of August 10, until 10 p.m. of August 13, and from 1 p.m. of August 17, to 3 p.m. of August 18.

During this time, Maynilad would stop water flow through the primary pipeline and isolate the segment that would be removed.

Water would then be allowed to pass through a bypass pipeline while the new cross-under primary line is installed.

The company would allow for a three-day gap between its scheduled water supply interruptions so customers can replenish their water stock.

Maynilad would have 35 water tankers on standby to serve areas that would experience prolonged interrupted water supply.

It is advising affected customers to store enough water for the duration of the service interruption.

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