The Manila Electric Co. (MERALCO) is set to implement rate hikes coming off of simultaneous outages of power plants back in 2013 in compliance with a final ruling by the Supreme Court.
In a report by Manila Bulletin, MERALCO first vice president and head of regulatory affairs Jose Ronald Valles said that the distribution company would be seeking guidance from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on staggering the rate hike, as well as the timeframe of the pass-on of Php 22.64 billion of cost recoveries mandated in the ruling.
Valles explained that the high court had already issued a final verdict on the case following the denial of motions for reconsiderations and partial reconsiderations being sought out, “on the ground that the issues raised had already been passed upon, so no further pleadings will be entertained.”
In November 2013, certain power plants shut down which coincided with the maintenance downtime of the Malampaya gas project, which in turn caused high settlement prices at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).
A month after, it was calculated that the rate adjustment due to the coinciding incidents was at Php 4.15 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) and would have been reflected in the January 2014 bills before the SC issued a temporary restraining order.
To date, the ERC investigation on the power plant shutdowns has yet to be concluded.