Power rates, oil prices fall

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    By JED MACAPAGAL

    As inflation continued to slow down, consumers will benefit further from falling electricity rates and fuel prices.

    Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) said September power rates will go down by P0.5260 per kilowatt hour (kWh) due to lower cost of electricity from the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM).

    The downward adjustment will reduce the bill of a residential customer consuming 200 kWh monthly by about P105. It brings overall power rates to P9.0414 per kWh from August’s P9.5674 per kWh.

    The drop in electricity rates for the fifth straight month represents a total downward adjustment of around P1.52 per kWh since April 2019.

    From P4.9620 per kWh last month, generation charge for September went down to P4.5191 per kWh, a decrease of P0.4429 per kWh.

    Meralco said WESM charges fell by P3.6503 per kWh mainly due to improved supply conditions in the Luzon grid.

    The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines did not declare any yellow or red alerts during the whole supply month. This, and the imposition of refund of net settlement surplus as directed by the Energy Regulatory Commission tempered prices.

    The cost of power from power supply agreements decreased by P0.1522 per kWh due to lower fuel prices. On the other hand, cost of power from independent power producers rose P0.4844 per kWh because of lower average plant dispatch and a weaker peso against the US dollar.

    This month’s transmission charge for residential customers slightly increased by P0.0056 per kWh but was offset as taxes and other charges fell by P0.0886 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 the past 50 months.

    Meanwhile, local oil players implemented a second consecutive rollback today in petroleum prices following the surprise build-up in US crude stockpiles.

    According to the Department of Energy (DOE), the latest average Metro Manila price per liter of gasoline (RON95) is at P51.84, diesel at P41.14 and kerosene at P46.71.

    Shell and Seaoil reduced the prices of gasoline by P0.50 per liter, diesel by P0.10 per liter and kerosene by P0.25 per liter.

    Phoenix Petroleum also adjusted prices downward by P0.50 per liter for gasoline and P0.10 per liter for diesel.

    The DOE said as of September 3, year-to-date adjustments stand at a net increase of P4.66 per liter for gasoline, P3.27 per liter for diesel and P1.26 per liter for kerosene.

    Reuters reported that the fact that crude inventories rose by 401,000 barrels in the week ended August 30 to 429.1 million, compared with the expected decrease of 2.5 million barrels, was the major reason for the price drop, apart from continuing fears of a global recession.