Meralco signals over P1 per kWh rate rise in February

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THE COST of electricity in February will increase by P1.08 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) said on Thursday, pointing to higher pass-through generation charge.

Meralco said the increase “will not be implemented in full, in the interest of consumer welfare.” It made the statement in an online message ahead of its regular monthly issuance on power rates.

The increase follow two straight decreases in the overall electricity rates that amounted to a total P0.90 per kWh for a typical household.

Meralco told its consumers “to await the official announcement on the final rate adjustment for February, and how the remainder of the increase will be implemented.”

“Meralco’s distribution, supply, and metering charges, meanwhile, have remained unchanged for 31 months, after these registered reductions in July 2015,” it said.

It reiterated that it does not earn from the 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 National Grid Corp. of the Philippines.

It added that taxes and other public policy charges such the feed-in-tariff allowance are remitted to the government.

In January, the country’s biggest distribution utility announced a decrease in power rates of P0.5260 per kWh.

The rate decrease for the month brought the overall rate to P8.7227 per kWh from P9.2487 per kWh previously. A typical residential customer with a 200-kWh consumption will their monthly bill reduced to around P105.

Those consuming 300 kWh, 400 kWh and 500 kWh will see a reduction of P157.8, P210.4 and P263, respectively.

The reduction is the second straight month of decrease in overall electricity rates, the company said, placing the total reduction at P0.9045 per kWh in the two-month period. — Victor V. Saulon