Meralco power rates rise P0.66 per kwh this March

Intervention petitions on Meralco PSAs denied by ERC

Electricity bills of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco)’s customers will go up by P0.66 per kilowatt hour (kWh), bringing the overall rate to P9.67 per kWh, the power distributor said.

This month’s increase was driven by the upward movement in generation charge after the Malampaya shutdown that rose by P0.58 per kWh to P4.90 per kWh.

With this, a household with that consumes around 200-kwh will see an increase of P132 in their Meralco bill.

The increase already includes the one-third differential amount computed by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), Meralco senior vice president and utility economics head Larry Fernandez said.

“Another part of the adjustment is the lower dispatch of some power plants that also went on maintenance. And because there was a decrease in supply because of the maintenance shutdown of plants, we also saw an increase in spot market prices,” he said.

Meralco spokesman Jose Zaldarriaga said that this month’s rate hike is lower than the forecast.

The power distributor projected the rates to go up by P1.44 per kWh following the power plants’ shift to diesel or condensate, foreign exchange, and supply- demand scenario during the Malampaya maintenance shutdown from January 28 to Feb 16.

The shutdown affected the natural gas supply of Ilijan, Sta. Rita and San Lorenzo plants that supply an aggregate capacity of 2, 565 megawatts (MW) to Meralco’s franchise area.  The plants switched to a more expensive liquid fuel to supply power to the grid.

Malampaya’s maintenance shutdown also coincided with the scheduled maintenance of the SEM – Calaca Power Corp Unit 1, Quezon Power Ltd and one block of the Ilijan power plant. These contribute to around 1, 185 MW of Meralco’s power requirements.

Just this week, the ERC allowed Meralco to increase its generation charge by P0.2211 per kWh from March to May.

This increase the rate of independent power producers to P0.63 this March. The IPP share was at 33.4 percent.

Meanwhile, overall charges from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) also rose P1.68 per kWh due to higher capacity on outage, including higher demand by around 253 MW on the average.

WESM’s share to Meralco’s total requirements went up to 25.4 percent.

But a P0.03 per kWh decrease in power supplied through Meralco’s Power Supply Agreements and Interim Power Supply Agreements. The PSA and IPSA share this month is at 41. 2 percent.

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