Power rates down in MM; oil prices up

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    After last week’s mixed movements, oil prices are up effective today, February 9.

    This developed as the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) yesterday announced a reduction on power rates this month.

    The price hike on fuel products was in reaction to the report of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries that it was faithful in its production output cut.

    According to the Department of Energy, the latest average Manila price per liter of gasoline (RON95) is at P54.07, diesel at P38.50 and kerosene at P43.71.

    Petron, Shell, Caltex and Seaoil adjusted per liter prices upward by P0.85 of gasoline, P1.10 of diesel and P1 of kerosene.

    As of Feb. 2, 2021, year-to-date adjustments on fuel prices summed up to a net increase of P2.40 per liter for gasoline, P1.55 per liter for diesel and P1.25 per liter for kerosene.

    Reuters reported that as of Friday last week, brent crude ended at $59.34 a barrel, an increase of 50 cents while US crude settled at $56.85 a barrel, an improvement of 62 cents.

    It said the last time brent crude touched the $60 a barrel was already over a year or before lockdowns due to the pandemic were implemented.

    Meanwhile, power rates in Metro Manila will go down by P0.0704 per kilowatt hour (kWh) this month as generation charges were pulled by lower fixed charges from power supply agreements (PSAs).

    The downward rate adjustment will be equivalent to a decrease of around P14 in the bill of a residential customer consuming 200 kWh monthly and brings overall power rates to P8.6793 per kWh from last month’s P8.7497 per kWh.

    From last month’s generation charge of P4.4574 per kWh, February 2021’s generation charge is now at P4.4152 per kWh, lower by P0.0422.

    Meanwhile, power from independent power producers (IPPs) increased by P0.2103 per kWh due to lower average plant dispatch, higher Malampaya natural gas prices due to the quarterly repricing and Peso depreciation.

    As for the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM), rates also increased by P0.9577 per kWh due to higher average plant capacity on outage in the Luzon grid.

    However, transmission charge for residential customers registered a reduction of P0.0128 per kWh due to lower ancillary service charges while taxes and other charges also registered a net decrease of P0.0154 per kWh.

    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 67 months.

    The company said that the total power requirements for the month, WESM accounted for 7.1 percent; IPPs, 39.5 percent and; PSAs, 53.4 percent. – J. Macapagal