Given manifest uptick in power demand for January supply month, the electricity rates to be billed by Manila Electric Company (Meralco) is anticipated to be on downtrend for February billing.
Meralco Vice President for Corporate Communications and Spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga indicated that final invoices from the utility firm’s power suppliers are still being awaited, but he qualified that “initial data suggests the generation costs for February have a very strong likelihood of a decrease due to higher demand in January – increasing compared to December 2020.”
He explained that the upswing in demand entails that “the fixed costs from power suppliers may be spread over higher energy volume, resulting in lower effective rates to consumers.”
The Meralco executive similarly hinted that based on preliminary cost trends, charges from the power supply agreements (PSAs) of the utility firm “are projected to decrease.” In essence, that will contribute to the factors that will pull down the rates for the February billing cycle.
The power firm will announce corresponding adjustments on its billed tariffs early part of February – or before the dispatch of billings to its subscribers.
With the anticipated another wave of rate cut, Meralco stated that the cost relief on consumers will somehow be broadened in these initial months of the year.
The company cited that “net overall power rate decrease since the start of 2020 is at more than P1.00 per kilowatt-hour, with further projected decrease in the overall power rate of February 2021 continuing this downward trend.”
Zaldarriaga stated that Meralco’s rates had hit its lowest levels in three years, and there are forecasts that the cost decline may continue in the coming months.
This year is reckoned as partly a rebound year for the Philippine economy, especially if the government will be successful in its targeted Covid-19 vaccination program in the coming months.
While the overall economic picture may still not be as robust compared to pre-pandemic days, it has been indicated that the rollout of vaccine may help boost consumer confidence, hence, the country’s economy may also be buoyed especially if Filipinos will start spending more.
Meanwhile, Meralco advised its customers with billing arrears to coordinate with their branches for possible ‘flexible payment arrangements’, so disconnection of their electricity service can also be avoided.