Lockdowns, disasters pull down MERALCO income in 2020


The COVID-19 pandemic and the series of disasters that hit Luzon pulled down the Manila Electric Company’s (MERALCO) consolidated core net income by nine percent to Php21.7 billion in 2020 from Php23.8 billion in 2019.

MERALCO’s operations were particularly impacted by the Taal Volcano’s eruption in January, the pandemic-induced lockdowns during the summer, and the series of typhoons that battered Southern Luzon in the last quarter.

The power giant’s franchise area covers Cavite; as well as parts of Batangas, Laguna, and Quezon; all of which were affected by the said natural disasters.

Gross revenues also dropped by 14% to Php275 billion year-on-year. Total electricity revenues, meanwhile, amounted to Php268 billion or 14% lower compared to Php310 billion last year, reflecting the reduction in purchased power costs.

Volume declined by seven percent 43,572 gigawatt hours (GWh) in 2020 from 46,871 GWh in 2019.

Commercial volume particularly went down to 34% last year from 40% the year prior with malls and hotels greatly affected given the sharp decline in foot traffic. On the reverse, residential volume went up to 38% from 30% previously in the wake of work-from-home arrangements and online classes. Meanwhile, industrial volume slightly was slightly reduced to 28% from 30% year-on-year.

“We have not lost sight of our role in providing reliable power to our customers which will also underpin our economic recovery. In addition, we are cognizant of the need to future-proof our business by focusing on sustainability, and by digitalizing certain of our processes. We are increasing resources allocated to clean technologies across all businesses, instituting a stronger plan for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and setting up science-based, measurable targets as our guidance,” MERALCO Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan said in a statement.

“We are committed to enabling the re-opening of the economy which we hope happens this year. We are encouraged by Meralco’s January 2021 operating trends, including energy sold to commercial customers starting to regain traction,” Pangilinan added.

MERALCO recently awarded 20-year power supply agreements worth 1,800 megawatts to San Miguel Corporation subsidiaries Excellent Energy Resources, Inc. and Masinloc Power Partners Co. Ltd.