AFTER two straight months of decrease, power rates in November will rise by P0.1135 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) largely because of the higher charges from the wholesale electricity spot market, Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) said on Wednesday.
For those using 200-kWh, which represents the consumption of a typical household, the increase to P10.0901 per kWh from P9.9766 per kWh in October means a rise of P23 in their total monthly bill this month.
The rise comes after an uptick in power demand coupled by a rise in Malampaya gas prices. It also follows the rate reduction in September and October totalling P0.25 per kWh.
Consumers using 300 kWh, 400 kWh and 500 kWh can expect their monthly electricity bills to rise by P34.05, P45.40 and P56.75, respectively. Still, Meralco said since April this year, electricity rates registered a net decrease of P0.46 per kWh.
“From P5.1908 per kWh last month, the generation charge for November went up to P5.2725 per kWh, an increase of P0.0817 per kWh,” the listed company said.
The distribution utility, which serves 6.542 million customers, said the higher generation during the period was due to the P1.3545 per kWh higher charges at the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM).
“WESM charges went up due to higher power demand in Luzon resulting from warmer temperature in October. The share of WESM purchases to Meralco’s total requirement this month was 16.6%,” the company said.
In contrast, the cost of power from independent power producers (IPP) and power supply agreements (PSA) dropped by P0.1450 per kWh and P0.5611 per kWh, respectively.
“A stronger peso offset an increase due to higher Malampaya natural gas prices as a result of the quarterly repricing to reflect recent movement of crude oil prices in the world market,” Meralco said.
Power plants using Malampaya natural gas provided 61% of the distribution utility’s requirements. These are First Gas Power Corp.’s Sta. Rita and San Lorenzo power plants; First NatGas Power Corp.’s San Gabriel plant; and the Ilijan plant under administrator South Premier Power Corp.
For November, the share of IPP and PSA purchases to Meralco’s total requirement is 42.6% and 40.8%, respectively.
During the month, transmission, taxes and other charges also increased. For residential customers, the transmission charge rose by P0.0021 per kWh due to an increase in the ancillary service charges of system operator National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP). Taxes and other charges increased by P0.0297 per kWh.
“Meralco’s distribution, supply, and metering charges, meanwhile, have remained unchanged for 40 months, after these registered reductions in July 2015,” the company said, adding that it does not earn from the pass-through charges, such as the generation and transmission charges.
The payment for the generation charge goes to the power suppliers, while payment for the transmission charge goes to the NGCP. Taxes and other public policy charges, including the feed-in tariff allowance, 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