Meralco reports slightly higher bill charges this month

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After posting a P1.43 per kWh cut back last month, Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) has reported a slight increase of P0.0761 per kWh for July due to the continuous peso depreciation, weaker power supply, and higher Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) prices.

Overall, rates went from P8.17 per kWh to P8.25 per kWh, which easily translates to a P15.22 surge for a 200-kWh household, P22.83 for 300-kWh, P30.44 for 400-kWh and P38.05 for 500-kWh.

In a company statement, July’s higher charges are due to the second tranche of the refund following the P6.9-billion over-recovery on pass-through charges from January 2014 to December 2016.

“The refund is not shown as a separate line item in the bill but is embedded in the different pass-through charges indicated in the bill, which includes Generation, Transmission, and System Loss Charges and Lifeline and Senior Citizen Subsidies. For residential customers, the refund translates to a reduction of P0.79 per kWh, excluding taxes,” Meralco said.

Higher rates are also due to the increased fees of Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and WESM, affecting the generation charge to post an increase of P0.0799 per kWh, totaling to P3.9385 per kWh this month from P3.8586 per kWh in June.

IPPs escalated its costs up to P0.1751 per kWh not only because of lower plant dispatch but also due to the weakening peso-dollar exchange, which dipped to an all-time low of P50.67 against the US dollar last Thursday.

WESM prices, on the other hand, increased by P0.4548 following billing adjustments due to the additional charges approved by the Philippine Electricity Market Corp. for the Must-Run Unit (MRU) operations of the Malampaya power project from 2012 to 2015.

IPPs and WESM purchases shares with Meralco are 40.8 percent and 12.4 percent, respectively.

On a lighter note, costs charged by power supply agreements (PSAs) reduced to P0.0176 per kWh thanks to cheaper coal prices and improved average plant dispatch.

The share of PSAs this July amounted to 46.8 percent.

Meanwhile, other bill charges such as transmission charge of consumers are upped to P0.0042 per kWh, but together with taxes and miscellaneous fees, overall charges dropped to around P0.0080 per kWh.

Distribution, supply, and metering charges by Meralco have remained unchanged for 24 months.

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