Meralco rates up this October billing

Published October 8, 2021, 3:12 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

Due to higher transmission charges, customers of Manila Electric Company (Meralco) will be shelling out heftier amount for their electricity bills this October, as the overall tariff of their servicing utility inched up by P0.0283 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to P9.1374 from P9.1091 per kWh last month.

For end-users with average consumption of 200-kWh, the aggregate increase they will have to pay in this billing cycle will be P6.00, according to the power firm.

Meralco explained it was the ancillary services component in the transmission charge that had driven up the pass-on costs in the bills, because that went up by P0.0282 per kWh to P0.7085 from P0.6803 per kWh.

In particular, the transmission charge accounts for about 33-percent of the overall costs being billed by system operator National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.

Meralco nevertheless qualified that “the increase in the overall rates was partly tempered by Meralco’s continued implementation of the distribution rate true-up refund” – and that began in March 2021 based on a ruling previously rendered by the Energy Regulatory Commission.

The taxes and other charges reflected in this billing also incurred slight increase of P0.0005 per kWh; while the collection of universal charge- environmental charge amounting to P0.0025 per kWh remains suspended as mandated by the industry regulator.

For the generation charge component, this month’s billing had a slight reduction of P0.0004 per kWh to P5.0435 from the prior month’s P5.0439 per kWh.

“Lower average capacity on outage and average demand in the Luzon grid during September supply month pulled down charges from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market by P1.2061 per kWh,” the power firm expounded.

Within the period, the share of Meralco’s supply from spot procurements had been at a higher scale of 13.4-percent, hence, that helped soften overall rate adjustments.

On the utility firm’s sourcing from independent power producers (IPPs), there was a price reduction of P0.0527 per kWh, but Meralco specified that “the cost of using alternative liquid fuel during the Malampaya gas supply restriction in September was not yet included in the charges and will be billed in subsequent months.”

Further, the fraction of supply sourced from its PSAs with private power generators climbed by P0.3156 per kWh to P4.9417 from P4.6261 per kWh “largely due to higher fuel prices and the peso’s depreciation.”

The share of contracted IPPs in last month’s Meralco supply portfolio had been at 37.1-percent; while those coming from its PSAs accounted for 49.5-percent.