Refund cuts MM power rates in March


    The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) said power rates in Metro Manila will go down by P0.3598 per kilowatt hour (kWh) this month as it starts implementing its P13.9-billion refund.

    Power rates are down for the consecutive month in Meralco’s franchise area also partly due to lower cost of power from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).

    This month’s rate cut translates to a P72-reduction in the bill of a residential customer consuming 200 kWh monthly.

    Of that, P55.22 represents the refund.

    March rate reduction brings overall power rates to P8.3195 per kWh from last month’s P8.6793 per kWh.

    Meralco said this month’s rate is also the lowest since August 2017.

    The P13.9-billion refund to be implemented for 24 months or until the amount is fully refunded will be equivalent to P0.2761 per kWh for residential customers.

    The company’s total generation charge for the month is at P4.3749 per kWh compared to February’s P4.4152 per kWh dragged by higher share of supply from WESM which registered the lowest charge among all electricity suppliers.

    Despite an increase in Luzon peak demand from 9,162 megawatts (MW) to 9,574 MW, charges from the WESM remained relatively stable at P2.4609 per kWh and offset increases in costs from power supply agreements (PSA) and independent power producers (IPPs) of P0.0175 per kWh and P0.1338 per kWh, respectively.

    Meralco said higher PSA and IPP charges were the result of the depreciation of the peso and lower average plant dispatch.

    Meanwhile, transmission charge for residential customers inched up by P0.0022 per kWh, while taxes and other charges registered a net decrease of P0.0456 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 68 months already.

    About 52.5 percent of power requirements was sourced from PSAs; 35.8 percent IPPs and; WESM, 11.7 percent.