MERALCO confirms “slight” increase in January rates


The Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) has announced that it will be having a “slight upward adjustment” of power rates in its customers’ electric bills for January.

MERALCO said that the overall rate for a typical household increased by Php0.2744 per kilowatt hour (kWh), from Php8.4753/kWh last December to Php8.7497/kWh this January. This translates to an increase of around Php55 in the total bill of residential customers consuming 200 kWh.

Despite the increase, the utility giant pointed out that the overall rate is still more than Php0.70/kWh lower than the Php9.4523/kWh rate in January 2020.

MERALCO Vice President and Spokesman Joe Zaldarriaga previously attributed the rate hike to lower power demand in the Luzon Grid for December.

The January rate hike comes after a series of power rate reductions in 2020 amounting to a Php1.39/kWh net overall rate decrease for the entire year.

Mitigating this month’s rate increase is the inclusion of adjustments approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), specifically for MERALCO’s pass-through over and under-recoveries from January 2017 to December 2019.

The ERC, in its order released last December 29, directed MERALCO to refund over-recoveries in transmission and other charges over a period of approximately three months until fully refunded and to collect an under-recovery in the generation rate for approximately 24 months until fully collected. The initial impact to residential customers is a net refund of around Php0.1150/kWh.