Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) on Friday said power rates would increase this month on higher transmission charge.

In a statement, the company said the charge for a typical household would go up by P0.0283 to P9.1374 a kilowatt-hour (kWh) from September. Residential customers consuming 200 kWh will experience a P6 increase in their power bills for October.

The transmission charge for residential customers rose by P0.0282 to P0.7085/kWh because of higher ancillary service charges. These charges accounted for 33% of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines’ total transmission costs.

The so-called distribution rate true-up refund partly tempered the increase in rates, Meralco said.

“The refund rate for residential customers is at P0.2761/kWh and appears in customer bills as a line item called ‘Dist True-Up’,” it said.

Meralco reported a slight cut of P0.0004/kWh to P5.0435 for this month’s generation charge from P5.0439/kWh a month earlier.

“Lower average capacity on outage and average demand in the Luzon grid during September supply month pulled down charges from the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM) by P1.2061/kWh,” it said. The share of WESM to Meralco’s total requirements was higher at 13.4%, it added.

A P0.0527/kWh cut in charges from independent power producers also helped reduce the generation charge.

“The cost of using alternative liquid fuel during the Malampaya gas supply restriction in September was not yet included in the charges and will be billed in subsequent months,” the company said.

Charges from power supply agreements rose by P0.3156 to P4.9417/kWh, mainly because of higher fuel prices and a weaker peso.

Meralco said independent power producers and power supply agreements accounted for 37.1% and 49.5% of its energy requirements. Taxes and other charges increased by P0.0005/kWh.

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. — Arjay L. Balinbin