Meralco sees decrease in power rates for January

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Residents under the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) may see a reduction in power rates this month following lower generation charge – the biggest fraction in electricity bills.

“We may see the possibility of lower electricity rates this month following a slight increase in December,” Meralco spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga said.

The spokesperson said that Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) charges and the peso-dollar exchange rate were stable for the December supply month.

The exchange rate averaged P49.815:$1 in December, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed.

The Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC) said that it expects WESM prices to continue to decrease until February because of ample power supply and lower demand due to cooler temperature.

Power costs under power supply agreements (PSAs) are seen to decline, Zaldarriaga said.

“While spot market costs and dollar to peso exchange rate were stable, we may see a decline in rates from our power supply agreements or PSAs as a result of annual reconciliation of outage allowances as provided for in the contracts approved by the regulators,” he said.

Under PSAs, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has approved an annual outage allowance – forced or not – for every plant.

In December, power rates went up by 10 centavos per kilowatt hour (kWh) following higher generation charges due to peso depreciation affecting costs.

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