The Manila Electric Co (Meralco) has posted a P0.3785 per kwh decrease in its electricity rates for the month of December brought about by a reduction in generation charges.
This brings around P76 reduction in an electricity bill of a household consuming 200 kwh, P114 for a 300 kwh household, P151 for a 400 kwh household, and P189 for a 500 kwh household.
The overall rates of electricity in the Meralco franchise area went down to 9.2487 per kwh from 9.6272 per kwh last month.
Generation charges went down to P4.6045 per kwh this month due to a stronger peso- US Dollar exchange and lower Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) charges, which decreased by P0.4658 per kwh.
Charges from the independent power producers (IPPs) and power supply agreements (PSAs) also went down to P0.2191 per kwh and P0.3244 per kwh respectively as peso strengthens against US Dollar.
Moreover, transmission charges decreased by P0.0186 per kwh following lower transmission wheeling and ancillary charges. Taxes and other charges also decreased by P0.0564 per kwh.
Meralco said that the electricity rates stability at the beginning of 2018 will depend on the power supply and foreign exchange.
“Kung magiging stable naman ang power supply and foreign exchange rate this month [December] makakaasa po tayo na magiging stable for the start of the year 2018,” Larry Fernandez, Meralco head of utility economics said.
(“If power supply and foreign exchange this month will be stable, we can expect rates to be stable for the start of 2018.”)
Meralco also discussed the possibility of an increase should the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) bill be implemented next year. Based on estimates, a P300 per metric ton increase on the coal excise tax would result in a P0.15 per kwh increase in electricity bills.
“This will definitely redound to higher electricity bills,” Meralco spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga said.
Recently, the Senate approved the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) bill. This includes a coal excise tax increase from P10 per metric ton to P100 per metric ton in the first year, P200 in the second year, and p300 in the third and next years.