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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Meralco set to ‘slightly’ raise rates this month

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The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) on Wednesday said it would slightly raise its power rates this month by P0.0844 per kilowatt-hour due to higher charges from its power supply agreements (PSAs).

This would increase the average household’s overall rate to P9.9472 per kWh from P9.8628 per kWh in October.

Meralco said residential customers consuming 200 kWh would see an equivalent increase of around P17 in their total electricity bill.

“The modest increase in the overall rate was mainly due to the generation charge, which went up by P0.0725 to P6.9917 from P6.9192 per kWh,” Meralco said in a statement.

Charges from Meralco’s PSAs increased by P0.2711 per kWh primarily due to First Natgas’ San Gabriel plant’s scheduled maintenance outage from Oct. 1-14.

Meralco said lower charges from its independent power producers (IPPs) and the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), the trading floor of electricity, mitigated the higher PSA charges.

IPP charges went down by P0.1520 per kW primarily due to a stronger peso, which affected 99 percent of IPP costs.

It said First Gas-Sta. Rita’s reduced utilization of the more expensive alternative fuel also brought down IPP charges.

Meralco said the Malampaya natural gas prices remained stable following its quarterly repricing, reflecting the recent movement of international crude oil prices.

Meanwhile, WESM charges went down by P0.7959 per kWh with fewer secondary price cap imposition instances.

The secondary price cap was triggered 51.64 percent of the time in October, down from 55.16 percent the preceding month.

Meralco sourced the bulk of its power requirements from its PSAs in October at 49 percent, followed by IPPs at 45 percent and the WESM at six percent.

Transmission, taxes, and other charges for residential customers also registered a net upward adjustment of P0.0119 per kWh.

Meralco said generation and transmission charges are paid to the power suppliers and the grid operator, respectively.

Taxes, universal charges, and the feed-in tariff allowance are all remitted to the government.

Meralco’s distribution charge, on the other hand, has not moved since the P0.0360 per kWh reduction for a typical residential customer beginning in August.

It said four ongoing distribution-related refunds, totaling P1.8009 per kWh for residential customers, continue to temper customers’ monthly bills.

The ongoing refund of P0.4669 per kWh for residential customers is expected to be completed this month.

The other refunds are expected to be fully completed by December 2022, January 2023, and May 2023, and the impact will subsequently be felt in succeeding billing periods.

Meralco warned against power cable theft that could lead to power service interruptions and endanger lives.

The company recorded 457 cable theft incidents, mostly located in Metro Manila from 2020 to October 2022.

This resulted in 106 service interruptions, and eight incidents led to injury or death.

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