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By Claire-Ann M.C. Feliciano, Senior Reporter

Generation charge could rise -- utility

Posted on August 08, 2014

CUSTOMERS of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) may have to pay more for the generation charge component of their power bills this month given higher costs incurred from suppliers, an official said yesterday.

“The generation charge for August may indicate an increase,” Meralco Spokesman Joe R. Zaldarriaga said in a text message.

Mr. Zaldarriaga noted that the said bill component is expected reflect the impact of outages of major power plants from which the utility sources electricity needs of its customers.

“Forced and scheduled outages from various power plants even before typhoon Glenda (international name: Rammasun) and aggravated further when it hit Luzon may have resulted in higher cost of power from suppliers,” he explained.

Overall adjustment for this month’s bills is scheduled to be announced today, according to the same official.

The generation charge accounts for around 57% of total charges in Meralco’s electricity bill. The rest consists of the distribution charge (17%), transmission charge (10%), system loss charge (5%), as well as taxes and other charges (11%).

Deferred charges comprising adjustments for December and January still hang over consumers’ heads. These rates include the P0.45 per kilowatt-hour (/kWh) deferred increase for January billing period that Meralco intends to collect over a six-month period, subject to the Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval. An earlier P4.15/kWh rate hike was also set to have been implemented in stages starting last December but is still under an indefinite temporary restraining order issued by the Supreme Court.

Meralco distributes electricity in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite and Rizal, as well as parts of Batangas, Laguna and Quezon.

Through Clark Electric Distribution Corp., the company also provides electricity to more than 1,000 industrial customers in Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga.

Shares of the company shed 60 centavos or 0.22% to end at P266.40 apiece yesterday from P267 each on Wednesday.

Meralco’s controlling stakeholder, Beacon Electric Asset Holdings, Inc., is partly owned by Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT). Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld.