Manila Electric Co. said Wednesday power rates will increase by P0.0872 per kilowatt-hour to P8.4067 per kWh in April from P8.3195 per kWh in March because of higher charges at the electricity spot market.
Meralco vice president and spokesman Joe Zaldarriaga said the adjustment is equivalent to an increase of around P17 in the monthly bill of residential customers consuming 200 kWh.
“This month’s overall rate is still P0.5884 per kWh lower than last year’s rate of P8.9951 per kWh,” Zaldarriaga said.
Meralco’s generation charge reached P4.5370 per kWh in April, or P0.1621 higher than last month’s P4.3749 per kWh, pushed up by charges at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market, the country’s trading floor of electricity.
WESM prices increased P2.5991 per kWh in April on tighter supply conditions in the Luzon grid. Meralco sourced about 11 percent of its supply requirements from the WESM last month.
Meralco said peak demand in Luzon increased by almost 1,000 megawatts in March as a result of warmer temperature while unavailable capacity from power plant outages remained above 3,400 MW.
WESM operator Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines said prices went up in March on higher frequency of unplanned generator outages and increased demand. WESM prices averaged P4.16 per kWh last month, compared to P2.22 per kWh in February.
“From the original planned daily outage capacity of 996 MW for the month, the average generator outage capacity increased to 2,575 MW. As a consequence, the clearing of diesel power plants in the spot market also increased,” IEMOP said.
IEMOP said 75.44 percent of outage capacity in March was traceable to coal power plants, resulting in a drop of generation from coal to 53.9 percent from 54.3 percent. Generation from geothermal plants also dropped to 10.5 percent from 11.4 percent, while output from natural gas plants increased to 23.5 percent from 22.3 percent.
The onset of the dry season also led to decreased hydro and wind plants’ generation to 5.9 percent from 6.6 percent and to 1.6 percent from 2.2 percent, respectively.