Customers of Manila Electric Company (Meralco) don’t need to worry much about added financial burden in their electric bills this month, as the overall tariff to be passed on is seen “flattish” in this September billing cycle.
According to Joe Zaldarriaga, vice president and spokesperson of Meralco, “the generation charge for September might be flattish” due to lower demand because of last month’s enforcement of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) restrictions in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces from the August 6-20 period.
The Meralco executive qualified that the demand downtrend “mitigated the impact of higher plant outages during the supply month.”
The generation charge, which accounts for more than 50-percent of the charges passed on to ratepayers, is the biggest component factored in when it comes to the calculation of monthly electricity rates.
The other cost elements are those on transmission and distribution charges; and then taxes as well as other charges, like feed-in-tariff allowance (FIT-All) as subsidy to renewable energy (RE) capacities, universal charges and lifeline subsidy rates.
Zaldarriaga noted the rate to be billed this September will also be partly affected by the outcome of settlement prices from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) in the last supply month, reflecting the dynamics of supply and demand in the electricity market.
He emphasized that another rate component that the utility firm has been monitoring closely is the transmission charge – primarily the ancillary services part, because that could trigger either an upswing or reduction in the overall tariff this month.
Meralco is expected to announce its monthly rate adjustment this week; that in turn will also be reflected in the bills to be dispatched to consumers this September.
The utility firm likewise made prior announcement that it has extended its ‘no disconnection policy’ until September 7 this year or at the duration of the modified ECQ (MECQ) in Metro Manila and proximate areas, so its customers could be given flexibility in paying their bills when mandated constraints on physical movements of people will already be eased.
Meralco nevertheless assured that all of its customers are guaranteed that they will only pay bills that based on their actual consumption, because the meter reading activities of the company continued even during the ECQ and MECQ enforcements. ###