• Power rates to drop in Meralco areas

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    MANILA Electric Co. (Meralco), the country’s largest power distributor, is lowering its rates this month.

    Suppliers of the power utility are seeking a higher generation charge, which was offset by a lower distribution charge approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

    In a statement on Tuesday, Meralco said bills of household customers will be reduced by P0.225 centavos per kilowatthour (kWh), which is slightly lower than last month’s level.

    For residential customers with a monthly consumption of 200 kWh, their electricity bills for July will decline by P4.50.

    For those consuming 300 kWh, the reduction will be P19.14; P41.83 for 400 kWh; and P88.89 for 500 kWh.

    Meralco earlier sought a lower distribution charge from the ERC.

    In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the company said a P1.38 per kWh reduction was approved by the commission on July 10.

    The ERC approval means Meralco may implement an 11.26-percent lower distribution charge in the July billing statement of household consumers, the utility said.

    The generation charge by suppliers went up by P0.28 per kWh to P4.73 per kWh, still the third lowest level in almost two years, the company added.

    According to Meralco, the higher generation charge was mainly driven by higher prices at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) for the June supply month, which registered an increase of P5.05 per kWh.

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

    “Despite the elevated market prices, the secondary price cap was not triggered,” Meralco said.

    The lower output from the Malampaya gas facility during the supply month also compelled the power distributor to use more expensive alternative fuel from First Gas power plants.

    As a result, cost of power from plants under the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) increased by P0.07 per kWh.

    Electricity bought under the Power Supply Agreements (PSAs), however, registered a drop of P0.09 per kWh.

    The share of PSAs, IPPs and WESM to Meralco’s total power requirements stood at 48.3, 44.2 and 7.5 percent.

    In addition to the generation charge, the transmission charge also registered a P0.05 reduction per kWh while taxes went down by P0.02 per kWh.

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