Power rates increased in March
Power retailer Manila Electric Co. said Friday power rates will increase by P0.85 per kilowatt-hour this month on higher generation charges and taxes and the impact of the weaker peso.
This would translate into a P170 increase in the monthly bill of a typical residential household consuming 200 kilowatt-hours.
Meralco said the actual increase should be P0.97 per kWh in March, but it decided to defer the remaining P0.12-per-kWh adjustment to April to cushion the impact on consumers.
The adjustment brought Meralco’s overall rate to P10.32 per kWh in March from February’s P9.47 per kWh.
Meralco said that of the P0.7424 per kWh increase in the generation charges, it will only reflect an increase of P0.6414 per kWh k in March. The difference will be implemented in the April billing.
Generation charges went up to P5.2962 per kWh from P4.6548 per kWh in February.
Meralco said charges at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market went up by P1.4441 per kWh because of tighter supply conditions in Luzon.
WESM is the country’s trading floor of electricity. Meralco sourced 19 percent of its requirements from WESM.
“The demand for power in the grid grew by around 366 MW in February due to warmer temperatures, while around 1,000 MW of generating capacity went on scheduled maintenance outage,” Meralco said.
Cost of power from Meralco’s independent power producers also increased P0.2814 per kWh following the annual scheduled maintenance outage of Quezon Power Philippines Ltd. in February and continued depreciation of the peso.
Meralco purchased 35 percent of its power requirements from the IPPs.
Charges from power plants under power supply agreements with Meralco, however, decreased by P0.3634 per kWh on improved average plant dispatch. These PSAs provided 46 percent of Meralco’s total energy requirement.
Transmission charges increased by P0.0503 per kWh on higher ancillary service charges billed by grid operator National Grid Corp. of the Philippines. Taxes and other charges went up by P0.1583 per kWh this month.
Meralco’s distribution, supply and metering charges have remained unchanged for 32 months.
Meralco said it was not earning from the pass-through charges, such as the generation and transmission charges. Payment for the generation charges goes to the power suppliers, while payment for the transmission charges goes to NGCP. Taxes and other public policy charges like the feed-in tariff allowance are remitted to the government.
Meralco, which has over six million customers, advised consumers to practice energy efficiency with the onset of the dry months.
These include everyday household tips that may help save energy, such as unplugging appliances when not in use to avoid “phantom load”, using the aircon at mid-setting or at 25 degrees Celsius for maximum efficiency and using a power board or strip which can supply power to several appliances at once.