MERALCO expecting higher generation charges in April

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The Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) is expecting a higher generation charge in April, as power demand is expected to spike with the onset of summer.

“Based on early, initial projections, there may be higher generation charge for the month of April 2021 due to observed increase in [Wholesale Electricity Spot Market] prices,” said MERALCO Vice President and spokesman Joe Zaldarriaga.

“Luzon peak demand increased by more than 900 [megawatts] (MW) in March due to warmer temperature and large capacities on outage persisted, remaining in excess of 3,400MW on the average,” he continued.

Zaldarriaga further explained that the daily Luzon Load-Weighted Average Price (LWAP) reached Php8 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) during the week of March 1 and Php9/kWh during the week of March 15. In comparison, the daily LWAP was below Php3/kWh for most of February.

Should MERALCO indeed increase rates for April, this would be its second monthly increase this year. The power giant rolled back rates in February and March.

MERALCO’s ongoing Php13.9 billion refund is also expected to be factored in the April electric bill.

Meanwhile, the company reiterated that the suspension of its disconnections will continue until April 15. Meter reading activities will also continue even with the reimposition of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces. Such activities were suspended during the first ECQ last year, causing widespread confusion among customers after seeing spikes in their respective bills.

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