POWER distributor Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) on Friday announced that there will be a slight increase in electricity rates this September because of higher generation charges.

In a press briefing, Meralco spokesman Joe Zaldarriaga said the overall rate will increase by P0.1055 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to P9.1091 per kWh. This compares to last month's P9.0036 per kWh.

With the upward rate adjustments, a typical household consuming 200 kWh a month may expect to be charged around P21 more in its total bill.

Households consuming 300 kWh, 400 kWh and 500 kWh can expect to see their September bills increase by P31, P42 and P52, respectively.

Despite the slight adjustment, Meralco power rates for September are still lower than the P10.0732 per kWh registered in the same month in 2018. "It also marks an 11-percent decrease from the P10.2647 rate registered in the same month a decade ago," it added.

Generation charge, which makes up about 55 percent of customers' electricity bills, increased by P0.1117 per kWh to P5.0439 from last month's P4.9322, Meralco said.

It also noted that charges from the Power Supply Agreements (PSA) registered an increase of P0.2494 per kWh.

"The reduction in demand brought about by the re-imposition of enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and neighboring regions led to lower excess energy deliveries, which are priced at a discount, from South Premiere Power, San Miguel Energy and AC Energy. Despite the increase, PSAs remained Meralco's lowest cost source of supply," it said.

Meanwhile, independent power producers (IPP) charges also increased by P0.0955 per kWh. Meralco attributed this to lower average plant dispatch with the forced outage of Quezon Power (460 MW) from August 18 to 22 and scheduled outage of San Lorenzo Module 50 (265 MW) starting August 16.

Likewise, the fuel costs of Sta. Rita and San Lorenzo, which is around 60 percent of their total cost, also increased due to the use of more expensive alternative liquid fuel for their continued operation, following the ongoing restriction of gas supply from Malampaya.

According to Meralco, the lower demand in the Luzon grid also offset the impact of higher plant outages in August. As a result, Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) charges registered a reduction of P0.7504 per kWh.

"However, charges from the WESM would have further decreased by P0.5646 per kWh without the correction on the Net Settlement Surplus component in the July 2021 WESM bill, and the generation charge adjustment would have been only at P0.0553 per kWh," the utility giant said.

For August, the IPP, PSA and WESM provided 36.8 percent, 53.2 percent and 10.0 percent of Meralco's energy requirements, respectively.

Meralco also said the transmission charge for residential customers was lower by P0.0520 per kWh due to a significant decrease in ancillary service charges. Taxes and other charges likewise decreased by P0.0458 per kWh.

Meralco had announced that disconnection activities will remain suspended until September 15 for Metro Manila and until the end of the month for Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal and Lucena in Quezon after the government placed these areas under MECQ or modified enhanced community quarantine.