The customers of power utility giant Manila Electric Company (Meralco) will brace for added financial burden in their electric bills this month as its overall rate had gone up by P0.0872 per kilowatt hour (kWh), mainly on account of higher generation charges, the biggest component of its pass-on costs.
For residential customers in the consumption band of 200-kWh, the increase in their bills would be P17.00, according to the utility firm.
Meralco’s all-inclusive tariff in the April billing cycle went up to P8.4067 per kWh from the leaner P8.3195 per kWh last month. Despite the increase though, it is still lower by P0.5884 per kWh if compared to last year’s April rate of P8.9951 per kWh.
In particular, the utility firm stated that its generation charge climbed by P0.1621 per kWh to P4.5370 per kWh this April versus last month’s P4.3749 per kWh – mainly due to spikes in prices for purchased capacity from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market.
For the other rate components, it was noted that the transmission charge had decelerated by P0.0856 per kWh “due to lower ancillary service charges”; while taxes and other charges posted a net increase of P0.0107 per kWh.
On the spot market procurement of power supply, Meralco indicated that WESM charges jumped by P2.5991 per kWh, “due to tighter supply conditions in the Luzon grid,” and this was mainly traced to higher demand and then the simultaneous outages of power plants.
The utility firm emphasized that “peak demand in Luzon increased by almost 1,000 megawatts in March as a result of warmer temperature, while unavailable capacity from plant outages remained above 3,400MW.”
The share of supply sourced by Meralco from the WESM last month hovered at 11-percent; while it procured 50-percent of its supply from power supply agreements (PSAs); and 39-percent from its contracted independent power producers (IPPs).
“Mitigating the increase in WESM charges are the lower costs from IPPs and PSAs,” the power firm specified, while conversely noting that its PSA costs had been lower by P0.1371 per kWh; and its IPP supply sourcing yielded costs that had been cheaper by P0.2090 per kWh.
Meralco pointed out that the reflected rate this month still carries the refund as well as the collection of under-recoveries earlier approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission. “Meralco implemented the ERC-approved adjustments starting January 2021. The impact to residential customers – from the months of January to April 2021, is a net refund of around P0.1150 per kWh,” the utility firm noted.