By Myrna M. Velasco
Customers of Manila Electric Company (Meralco) will brace for higher tariffs at the scale of P0.0894 per kilowatt hour (kwh) this March billing – which will translate to P16 aggregate increase in the bills of subscribers with base consumption of 200 kwh.
On the whole, the total rate to be passed on by the utility firm in this billing cycle will be at P10.4691 per kWh from the previous billing month’s P10.4067 per kwh.
On the power firm’s generation charge, this was down by P0.2966 per kwh to P5.5973 per kWh from P5.8939 last billing cycle.
Nevertheless, the overall effect was increased generation charge because of the higher cost of supply procurement from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market.
On the other cost components, the transmission charge for the residential end-users had climbed by P0.0288 per kwh in this billing month due to the ancillary service charges of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.
For taxes and other charges, this was likewise on uptrend by P0.3572 per kwh “mainly due to the completion of the universal charge-stranded contract costs (UC-SCC) refund last month.”
Meanwhile, on the downtrend in generation cost, it was emphasized that this was primarily driven by the lower charges of Meralco’s power supply agreements (PSAs) with generation companies.
Meralco emphasized “the P1.0768 per kwh decrease in PSA charges this month was due to strengthening of the peso against the US dollar, lower fuel prices and higher average plant dispatch.”
For supply sourcing with independent power producers (IPPs), the adjustment in charges had also been marginally up by P0.0549 per kWh “due to lower average dispatch” of power plants.
It has been noted that Quezon Power, in particular, “was on scheduled maintenance outage from January 18 to February 8 this year” – and that somehow had its impact on the overall procurement costs with the IPPs.
Supply procurements from IPPs reached 40-percent level; while purchases from PSAs hovered at 48-percent; and the balance of 12-percent from the electricity spot market.