Meralco billing higher in Dec.

Published December 9, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Myrna M. Velasco

Electric bills will make a pinch on the budgets of Manila Electric Company (Meralco) customers this month as its rates had been up by ₱0.3044 per kilowatt-hour (kwh), which will redound to an equivalent increase of ₱61 for typical households in the 200-kWh consumption bracket.


The December billed tariff had gone up to ₱9.8623 per kwh from the last billing month’s ₱9.5579 per kwh.

The utility firm indicated that the higher prices in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) in the last supply month had ignited the overall increase in the generation charge of Meralco, a pass-through cost owing to volumes procured from suppliers or power generators.

For this billing cycle, the generation charge of Meralco had inched up to ₱5.1967 per kwh, which is an increase of ₱0.1650 per kwh from the November charge of ₱5.0317 per kwh.

“Charges from the WESM increased by ₱1.0799 per kwh driven by tighter supply conditions in the Luzon grid,” the utility firm said. Last month, the country’s main grid had been placed on two yellow alert conditions.

In this billing month, the transmission charge being passed on to residential customers also went up by ₱0.0753 per kwh due to the higher ancillary services of system operator National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP); while taxes and other charges had also been higher by ₱0.0641 per kwh.

The utility firm’s procurement from contracted independent power producers (IPPs) similarly incurred an increase of ₱0.1106 per kwh; while sourcing from power supply agreements had been higher by ₱0.0987 per kwh.

The cost hikes, according to the utility firm, had been “due to lower average dispatch and weakening of the peso against the US dollar.”

In particular, the power firm noted that its contracted capacity from San Lorenzo plant had not been available from November 1 to 9 because the facility was on scheduled outage; while unit 2 of the Masinloc generating facility was also on planned maintenance outage for the whole supply month.

Meralco emphasized that “around 96 percent of IPP costs are dollar-denominated, while around 61 percent of PSA costs are dollar-denominated.”