Electricity rates drop this month

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MANILA ELECTRIC Co. (Meralco) announced on Thursday a decrease in electricity rates for September by P0.1458 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in what the distribution utility described as a relief amid rising fuel and food prices.

The drop to P10.0732 per kWh from P10.2190 per kWh translates in a P29.16 reduction in the monthly bill of a typical household consuming 200 kWh.

The listed company attributed the decline to the lower charges at the electricity spot market, which brought down the power generation charge.

Joe R. Zaldarriaga, Meralco’s spokesperson and head of its public information office, said the reduction came despite recent figures on inflation and the peso’s depreciation.

“Meralco customers can find some relief in the decrease of power rates this month, as this goes against the current trend that we see with other basic goods and commodities,” he said in a statement.




Those consuming 300 kWh, 400 kWh and 500 kWh can expect a reduction of P14.74, P58.32 and P72.90, respectively, in their monthly power bill.

Meralco said the generation charge for September dropped by P0.0772 per kWh to P5.2719 per kWh from P5.3491 per kWh. The lower charge was a result of a P2.0768 per kWh decrease in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) charges.

It said prices at the spot market dropped because fewer power plant outage and the lower average demand for power in Luzon. The share of WESM purchases to its total requirement was 21%.

The decrease in WESM charges offset the increase in the cost of power from power supply agreements (PSAs) and independent power producers (IPPs) by P0.6112 per kWh and a P0.3287 per kWh, respectively.

“Both PSA and IPP charges increased partly because of higher fuel prices and peso depreciation. The share of PSA and IPP purchases to Meralco’s total requirement this month was 39% and 40%, respectively,” the company said.

Transmission charge of residential customers slipped by P0.0292 per kWh due to lower ancillary charges by grid operator National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP). Taxes and other charges also declined by P0.0394 per kWh in September.

Meralco said its distribution, supply and metering charges have been unchanged for 38 months, after these recorded reductions in July 2015. Pass-through charges such as generation and transmission costs are remitted to power suppliers and NGCP, respectively.

Taxes and other public policy charges like the feed-in-tariff rate are remitted to the government.

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., has interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Victor V. Saulon

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