Residential customers in Metro Manila will be charged more for power in January, with the typical household expected to pay an additional P55, Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) said Friday, citing higher generation charges.
In a statement, Meralco said that the January electricity rate is up P0.2744 per kiloWatt-hour (kWh) compared to its December level.
“Despite the increase, this month’s overall rate is still more than P0.70 per kWh lower than January 2020’s rate of P9.4523 per kWh,” Meralco said.
The utility said the typical household is one consuming 200 kWh. Households consuming 300 kWh, 400 kWh, and 500 kWh will see bill increases of P82, P110 and P137, respectively.
The generation charge rose P0.2058 to P4.4574 per kWh in January. Meralco attributed the rise to power supply agreement (PSA) and independent power producer (IPP) rates which increased by P0.2723 per kWh and P0.2428 per kWh, respectively.
PSA-sourced power accounts for 56.4% of Meralco’s energy requirements while IPPs are responsible for 37.3 %.
Meralco said PSA and IPP rates rose because Luzon’s peak demand fell by 252 megawatts (MW) in December due to reduced consumption as a result of colder temeperatures and the holidays.
“Similarly, the demand for power in Meralco’s franchise area in December fell to its lowest level since lifting of the ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) in May. Lower demand led to fixed costs from power suppliers being spread over lower energy volume, resulting in higher effective generation rates to consumers,” Meralco said.
Meanwhile, rates at the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM) – which accounted for 6.3% of Meralco’s energy requirement – decreased by P0.6135 per kWh.
Transmission charges for residential customers decreased by P0.0236 per kWh due to Meralco’s mandatory refund of transmission over-recoveries as directed by the Energy Regulatory Commission. Taxes and other charges were also reduced by P0.0078 per kWh.
On Dec. 29, the regulator approved the collection of a feed-in tariff allowance (FIT-All) of P0.0983 per kWh which would take effect in the next billing cycle. This led to an increase of P0.0488 per kWh in Meralco’s FIT-All this month.
Meralco said that the collection of the universal charge-environmental charge of P0.0025 per kWh remained suspended, as directed by the ERC.
Meralco’s distribution, supply and metering charges remained unchanged for 66 months, after implementing the registered reduction in July 2015.
Meralco reiterated that it did not earn from pass-through charges, such as the generation and transmission charges.
“Payment for the generation charge goes to the power suppliers, while payment for the transmission charge goes to the NGCP (National Grid Corp. of the Philippines). Taxes and other public policy charges like the Universal Charges and the FIT-All are remitted to the government,” Meralco said.
Meralco’s controlling stakeholder, Beacon Electric Asset Holdings, Inc., is partly owned by PLDT, Inc. Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., holds an interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Angelica Y. Yang