MERALCO warns increase in electricity rates in May


The Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) warns that electricity rates might increase due to soaring consumption and decreasing supply.

In a report by Inquirer, MERALCO President and Head of Corporate Communications Joe Zaldarriaga said that estimates suggest this month’s generation charge will be even higher due to inflated Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) prices caused by a shortage of supply.

The distribution utility (DU) firm further stated that peak demand in Luzon had risen by 2,400 megawatts (MW) compared to March, as April brought six days of yellow alerts and five days of red alerts to the Luzon grid.

In the same month, MERALCO lowered its rate by nearly a peso, or P0.9879 per kWh, making the total pricing Php 10.9518 per kWh.

In order to reduce the anticipated rate hike, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) had earlier requested distribution utilities and electric cooperatives to start discussions with their suppliers on scheduled payments of power bills, even in the absence of its approval.

In other developments, supply for Metro Manila and its surrounding areas was further strained as a result of the country’s dams’ steadily dropping water levels.

Angat Dam, responsible for supplying nearly 90% of Metro Manila’s water, experienced a decrease of 0.4 meters in its level within the last 24 hours, reaching 184.38 meters and approaching its minimum operating level of 180 meters.

Currently, Angat Dam sits more than 28 meters below its high water level of 212 meters.

Ipo Dam’s water level also dropped below average, at 99.69 meters after a 0.4-meter decline from the recommended level of 101.1 meters.

Meanwhile, the water at La Mesa Dam dropped to 75.09 meters by 0.02 meters. The water supply system for Metro Manila is made up of Ipo, Angat, and La Mesa Dam.

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