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Meralco: Rates up this February

by Kiko Cueto

THE Manila Electric Company (Meralco) announced an upward adjustment or increase of P0.5738 per kWh (kilowatts per hours) in the February electricity rate bill. 

In a statement, the power distributor said that this would translate for residential customers consuming 200 kWh, the adjustment is equivalent to an increase of around P115 in their total electricity bill. 

“Higher generation charge drives overall rate increase,” they said.

The overall rate for a typical household rose to P11.9168 per kWh this month from P11.3430 per kWh in January.

They said that driving this month’s overall rate increase is the generation charge, which went up by P0.4552 to P7.1020 per kWh from P6.6468 per kWh last month, primarily due to higher cost of power from Independent Power  Producers (IPPs) and Power Supply Agreements (PSAs).

Likewise, they said that the charges from IPPs increased by P1.4764 per kWh due to higher fuel costs of First Gas – Sta. Rita and San Lorenzo power plants, mainly resulting from the increased use of imported liquefied natural gas (LNG), which 

was around 35% to 40% more expensive than Malampaya gas.

The price of Malampaya gas, meanwhile, also went up. On one hand, the Malampaya gas price to Sta. Rita plant increased by almost 12%, following the signing of a new Gas Supply and Purchase Agreement (GSPA) between First Gas and the Malampaya consortium. On the other hand, the price of Malampaya gas to San Lorenzo plant, which is still priced based on the old GSPA, rose by less than 2%. 

Among the factors for the increase, the Peso’s depreciation contributed to the increase in IPP charges, which were 96% dollar-denominated.

Charges from PSAs inched up by P0.1558 per kWh due to higher charges from Emergency PSAs and Peso  depreciation, which affected around 11% of PSA costs that were dollar-denominated. 

Mitigating a further increase was higher excess energy deliveries from some PSAs, which were priced at a discount. 

IPPs and PSAs accounted for 32.8% and 46.8%, respectively, of Meralco’s total energy requirement in the last supply month. 

The increases in IPP and PSA charges were tempered by the P0.4071 per kWh decrease in charges from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) due to improved supply situation in the Luzon grid. 

“We are banking on the support of large load consumers within the Meralco franchise area to embody the spirit of bayanihan and join the ILP. As we have experienced in the past, the program has been beneficial in ensuring 

continuity of service even when supply is tight,” Meralco Vice President and Head of Corporate Communications Joe Zaldarriaga said.

To better manage electricity consumption, Meralco also advised its customers to embrace energy efficiency as a way of life. Some power saving tips customers can practice are unplugging appliances when not in use, refraining from overfilling refrigerators, regular cleaning of air conditioner filters, and using LED bulbs for cost saving lighting. 



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