Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) has raised power rates this month, citing higher generation charges. 

In a statement on Friday, the company said the overall rate for a typical household this month would rise by P0.1055 to P9.1091 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) from August. 

Residential customers consuming 200 kWh will experience a P21 increase in their power bills for September. Those consuming 300 kWh, 400 kWh, and 500 kWh will experience an increase of P32, P42, and P53, respectively. 

“Despite the slight adjustment, this month’s rate is still lower than the P10.0732 per kWh registered in the same month in 2018,” Meralco said. “It also marks an 11% decrease from the P10.2647 rate registered in the same month a decade ago.” 

The generation charge for September went up by P0.1117 to P5.0439 per kWh from August, the company said. The generation charge accounts for 55% of customers’ electricity bills. 

The utility giant said charges from power supply agreements also rose by P0.2494 per kWh. 

“The reduction in demand brought about by the reimposition of the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and neighboring regions led to lower excess energy deliveries, which are priced at a discount, from South Premiere Power, San Miguel Energy and AC Energy,” Meralco said. 

It added that charges by independent power producers had also increased by P0.0955 per kWh due to lower average plant dispatch with the forced outage of Quezon Power from Aug. 18 to 22 and the planned outage of San Lorenzo Module 50 starting Aug. 16. 

Meralco said fuel costs at the Santa Rita and San Lorenzo natural gas plants had also gone up as it used more expensive alternative liquid fuel for their sustained operations given limited gas supply from Malamapaya. 

On the other hand, wholesale electricity spot market (WESM) charges fell by P0.7504 per kWh. 

“Lower demand in the Luzon grid also offset the impact of higher plant outages during the August supply month,” Meralco said. 

“Charges from the WESM would have further decreased by P0.5646 per kWh without the correction on the net settlement surplus component in the July 2021 WESM bill, and the generation charge adjustment would have been only at P0.0553 per kWh,” it added. 

Meralco said the transmission charge for residential customers in September fell by P0.0520 per kWh to P0.6803 per kWh from August given lower ancillary service charges. Subsidies, taxes and other charges increased by P0.0458 per kWh. 

The collection of the universal charge-environmental charge worth P0.0025 per kWh remained suspended, as ordered by the Energy Regulatory Commission. 

Meralco distribution, supply and metering charges have been unchanged for 74 months after reductions in July 2015. 

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 an interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave