MERALCO: Higher WESM rates to push up generation charges


Customers of the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) should expect higher electric bills this June as price surges in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) last May will push up generation charges, the power distributor said.

In a report by BusinessMirror, MERALCO spokesman and Vice President for Corporate Communications Joe Zaldarriaga said that based on initial projections, there may be an upward pressure on generation charges for this month. Generation charges comprise bulk of consumers’ electric bills.

The price spikes came as the Luzon Grid was placed on Yellow Alert as early as May 5. Likewise, the secondary price cap (SPC) of Php6.245 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) was breached from May 4-7 and then again from May 20-22. The SPC is a price-mitigating mechanism designed to limit high market prices. A triggering of the SPC means that spot market prices are persistently high, which in turn translate to a shortage in power supply.

Luzon was placed on Red Alert, which led to the rotating brownouts, from May 31-June 2. MERALCO said consumption for this period will be covered in the July bill.

Zaldarriaga said, though, that MERALCO customers are still experiencing record-low power rate levels with the overall rate for May sill lower than last year’s rate by Php0.1548/kWh, also the lowest rate for the said month since 2017.

The utility giant also continues to encourage its more than seven million customers to practice energy efficiency initiatives at home to help manage consumption.