MM power rates up in April

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    After two consecutive months of rollback, power rates in areas under the franchise of the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) will go up by P0.0872 per kilowatt hour (kWh) this month, mainly pushed by the higher cost of electricity in the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM).

    The upward rate adjustment will be equivalent to an increase of around P17 in the bill of a residential customer consuming 200 kWh monthly and brings overall power rates to P8.4067 per kWh from last month’s P8.3195 per kWh.

    Meralco said generation charge for April is P4.5370 per kWh, P0.1621 higher than last month’s P4.3749 per kWh as WESM charges increased by P2.5991 per kWh due to tighter supply conditions in the Luzon grid.

    The company said peak demand in Luzon increased by almost 1,000 megawatts (MW) in March as a result of warmer temperatures while unavailable capacity from plant outages remained above 3,400 MW.

    The power distributor said the increase in WESM charges are the lower costs from independent power producers (IPPs) and power supply agreements (PSAs) which decreased by P0.2090 and P0.1371 per kWh, respectively due to improved average plant dispatch and peso appreciation.

    Likewise, transmission charge for residential customers decreased by P0.0856 per kWh mainly due to lower ancillary service charges while taxes and other charges registered a net increase of P0.0107 per kWh as the collection of universal charge-environmental charge amounting to P0.0025 per kWh remains suspended.

    This month’s rate still reflects the P0.2761 per kWh refund ordered by the Energy Regulatory Commission over a period of 24 months or until the P13.9 billion amount is fully refunded.

    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 69 months already.

    The company said 11 percent of total power requirements for the month were from WESM, 39 percent from IPPs and 50 percent from PSAs. – Jed Macapagal