Meralco rates lower in January

Published January 6, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By MYRNA M. VELASCO

While oil will make a dent on energy budgets starting this month of the year, electricity rates will provide much-needed counterbalance to that as Manila Electric Company (Meralco) prompts its customers that its overall tariff will be lower in this January billing.

“We expect the movement of January power rates to be downward, resulting in lower power rates for the month,” Meralco Spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga said.

He explained that based on historical trends, “lower PSA (power supply agreements) charges are typically brought about by a reduction in capacity fees as a result of the reconciliation of outage allowances done at the end of each year.”

Such factors have been reckoned from the approval of the power supply agreements (PSAs) as rendered by the Energy Regulatory Commission.

Meralco is expected to formally announce its power rate cut either latter part of this week to early next week, according to Zaldarriaga.

There had been no specific figures provided by Meralco yet, but this will certainly be a decline from last month’s billed electricity rate of ₱9.8623 per kilowatt-hour.

In citing January billing 2019 as a comparison, Zaldarriaga noted that the rate downtrend last year was due to the early completion of the annual capacity payments for Sual unit 1, Ilijan and Pagbilao plants as well as that of Panay Energy Development Corporation (PEDC) power facility in the Visayas.

Such, he expounded, “resulted in savings immediately passed on to consumers by way of lower electricity rates.”

The executive of the country’s biggest power utility firm thus stressed that the company is hoping “a similar situation will occur once again this January 2020, as with previous years.”

In the coming months, the generation charge component of the electricity rates will likely be on upticks again given the anticipated increase in the freight cost of shipping vessels that have been bringing into the country the fuels being utilized by the power plants in generating electricity.

The next debacle for the industry will be summer months with the specter of tight supply and price spikes threatening Filipino consumers once again this year.

 
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