Meralco rates drop to 3-year low

    1232

    Power rates in September in areas covered by the franchise of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) will go down by P0.0623 per kilowatt hour (kWh) due to lower generation charge as the utility continues to enforce force majeure (FM) claims.

    The fifth consecutive month of downward rate adjustment will be equivalent to a decrease of around P12 in the bill of a residential customer consuming 200 kWh monthly. It brings overall power rates to P8.4288 per kWh from last month’s P8.4911 per kWh.

    Meralco said this month’s rate is the lowest in three years, or since September 2017.

    From P4.1241 per kWh in August, the generation charge decreased by P0.0381 per kWh to P4.0860 per kWh this September as Meralco continued to invoke FM provision in some of its power supply agreements (PSAs) as power demand in its service area declined during the most recent community quarantine period.

    “This September, FM claims totaled about P463 million, equivalent to customer savings of P0.1710 per kWh in the generation charge. Without the FM claims, the generation charge and the total rate would have increased by 13 centavos and 14 centavos per kWh, respectively. For the past six months, savings from FM claims totaled around P2.4 billion,” Meralco said in a statement.

    Meralco’s FM claims also led to the P0.3032 per kWh decrease in PSA charges.

    Meanwhile, Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) charges were P0.0147 per kWh lower this month due to decrease in Luzon demand as some areas, including Metro Manila and adjacent provinces, returned to modified enhanced community quarantine last month.
    Purchases from independent power producers (IPPs) inched up by P0.0601 per kWh mainly due to lower average plant dispatch.

    Transmission charge for residential customers registered a slight reduction of P0.0112 per kWh due to lower ancillary service charges, a net decrease of P0.0130 per kWh was also booked for taxes and other charges.

    Meralco said collection of the Universal Charge-Environmental Charge amounting to P0.0025 per kWh remains suspended as directed by the Energy Regulatory Commission.

    Meralco’s interim distribution rates comprised of distribution, supply and metering charges, the only bill component paid to the company remained at P1.381 per kWh for 62 months.

    About 11.6 percent of Meralco’s power requirements were from WESM while PSAs and IPPs had shares of 54.8 percent and 33.6 percent, respectively.

    In a virtual briefing, Meralco spokesman Joe Zaldarriaga said the distribution utility will not conduct any disconnection activities until the end of October. – Jed Macapagal