Meralco rates likely to rise in April billing

Published March 30, 2021, 5:15 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

As weather temperature rises, so as the electric bills that consumers will be paying with initial estimates that the rates of giant power utility firm Manila Electric Company (Meralco) will be going up in April billing.

According to Meralco Vice President and Spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga, “based on early initial projections, there may be higher generation charge for the month of April 2021 due to observed increase in WESM (Wholesale Electricity Spot Market) prices.”

(MANILA BULLETIN)

He qualified that peak demand in Luzon grid “increased by more than 900 megawatts in March due to warmer temperature and large capacities on outage that persisted.”

Zaldarriaga narrated the daily load weighted average price (LWAP) had been reaching P8.00 per kilowatt hour (kWh) during the initial week of March; and had escalated even higher to P9.00 per kWh on the week of March 15th.

He explained that if it will be compared to the average LWAP of P3.00 per kWh in the February supply month, the disparity will be huge, hence, that could result in higher effective settlement prices to be reflected in this month’s billing cycle.

The generation charge is the biggest component in the overall power rates being passed on to consumers in their monthly electric bills – accounting for 55 to 60-percent of the total tariff.

Zaldarriaga said their customers’ March billing had also been comparatively coming from a low base, hence, there had been higher probability for the April rates to go up.

He noted that last month’s rate was the second downward adjustment implemented within this year — and that amounted to P0.3598 per kWh rate cut for a typical household end-user.

Given the scorching weather this summer season and with most people confined in their homes because of the Holy Week and the newly enforced enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) because of the rising cases of Covid-19 infections, consumers are being advised to efficiently use energy so they can also subsequently manage their bills when they become due.

The summer months are usually the peak demand period on power consumption, although higher usage shifted into the residential segment since last year because of the health crisis.

 
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