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Friday, July 19, 2024

Meralco lowers rates but higher bills set for coming months

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Power retailer Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) said consumers can expect a significant reduction in rates amounting to 1.9623 per kilowatt hour in June despite announcing a supposed increase in rates last week.

Meralco recomputed its rates after the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) ordered all distribution utilities and electric cooperatives in the country to stagger the collection of charges covering spot market purchases in the May supply month in four equal monthly installments starting this billing month until September 2024.

Meralco warned that as the collection was deferred, this will have an impact on the rates in July.

“We would like to advise this early that our customers can expect generation charge to increase in succeeding months as we collect the deferred amounts on staggered basis as result of the recent developments,” Meralco vice president and head of corporate communications Joe Zaldarriaga said.

As a result of the ERC order promulgated on June 13, Meralco customers will see a P1.9623 per kWh decrease in the electricity rates this June instead of the P0.6436 per kWh increase.

Meralco said the adjusted rate for the June billing period reflects a P1.8308 per kWh decrease in generation charge.

It said the increases in transmission charge and feed-in tariff allowance are retained at P0.1450 per kWh and P0.0474 per kWh, respectively. 

Taxes and other charges, meanwhile, have a net reduction of P0.3239 per kWh.

“We ask for the understanding of our customers over the delayed bills as we implement the newly issued order of the ERC. Rest assured that Meralco will implement adjusted due dates to give our customers enough time to pay their bills,” Zaldarriaga said.

Meralco, Quezon Power (Philippines) Ltd., San Buenaventura Power Ltd. Co., and South Premiere Power Corp., deferred P500 million in generation costs to cushion the impact of higher pass-through charges to Meralco’s customers. 

These will be collected over the next three billing periods, as cleared by the ERC.

“With these already deferred costs, and the recent order of the ERC to also stagger the collection of WESM charges, around P0.77 per kWh will be added every month to the generation charge in the July to September bills,” Zaldarriaga said.

The higher rates in June were driven by the higher feed-in tariff allowance, increase in prices at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market and higher transmission charges due to a directive by the ERC to partially lift the suspension on settlement amounts in the reserve market.


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