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Power rates likely stable in December, says Meralco

Electricity rates are not expected to see any major adjustment in December, according to power retailer Manila Electric Co.

Initial estimates showed the December power rates would be “stable and flattish,” following the slight increase in November.

“There are no final figures yet. We are still waiting for bills from power suppliers, but the official announcement will definitely be next week,” Meralco spokesman Joe Zaldarriaga said.

“Right now, we expect the movement of December power rates to be stable and flattish,” he said.

Zaldarriaga said rates could even decline because of the peso appreciation and potentially lower prices at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market.

“There may be a slight decrease in WESM prices with lower demand and fewer plant outages in the Luzon grid,” he said.  WESM serves as the country’s trading floor for electricity.

Zaldarriaga said Meralco had yet to calculate “the upward pressure on rates as the quarterly repricing of Malampaya becomes fully reflected in the power bills of natural gas plants.”

Meralco consumers experienced higher power rates in November by P0.1135 per kilowatt-hour or equivalent to P23 in the monthly bill of households with a consumption of 200 kWh.

The company said overall electricity rates slightly increased to P10.0901 per kWh in November from P9.9766 per kWh in October.

“The slight upward adjustment of P0.1135 per kWh, mainly due to higher WESM charges following an uptick in demand and an increase in Malampaya gas prices for the period, will mean an increase of around P23 in the total bill of a typical household consuming 200kWh,” Meralco said in a statement earlier.

Meralco sourced 16.6 percent of its power requirements from WESM in November.

Meralco said generation charges went up to P5.2725 per kWh in November from P5.1908 per kWh last October.

“The increase in the generation charge is mainly the result of a P1.3545 per kWh increase in charges from the WESM.  WESM charges went up due to higher power demand in Luzon resulting from warmer temperature in October,” the power distributor said.

“A stronger peso offset an increase due to higher Malampaya natural gas prices as a result of the quarterly repricing to reflect recent movement of crude oil prices in the world market,” Meralco said.

Topics: Meralco , Joe Zaldarriaga , Malampaya , Wholesale Electricity Spot Market
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