New waves for PH electricity

7,000 islands. Multiple energy sources. Yet you get a headache every time you get your monthly electric bill.

The Philippines has one of the most expensive electricity rates in the world. Trade Union Congress of the Philippines Representative Democrito Mendoza said the country’s power rates is one of the highest in the world and second in Asia.

In January 2013, Manila had the third most expensive electricity rate among North and Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand, data from BusinessWorld Weekender show. Manila has a generation cost of over P600 and 12% tax rates top an electric bill. The Philippines’ power generation is lower as compared to neighboring countries.

The Philippine Energy Mix

Recently, the Department of Energy (DOE) said that coal is still a critical part in the energy mix of the Philippines. 29% of the electric capacity of the country by fuel comes from coal, 23% percent comes from oil, 18% from hydro power, 14% from natural gas, 10% from geothermal energy, and only 2% from other renewables.

“We are working for a cleaner air and we’re working towards a target that by 2030, we can achieve 70 percent [reduction] in emissions from the business as usual scenario. But it’s not only power, it will also cover transportation, agriculture and other sectors,” former Energy secretary Zenaida Monsada said.

July’s Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) rates is set to increase by 29 centavos per kilowatt-hour (kWh), generating a base charge of P8.61. This comes after two months of reductions in the distribution utility’s rates.

Meralco brought down its June residential rates by P0.13 per kWh, its lowest generation charge in 11 years, making its overall rate at P1.08 per kWh. Meralco’s residential rates went up in early February by P0.42 per kWh, causing a P.85 increase for a Meralco bill in a 200 kWh household.

Roughly three-fourths of Meralco’s customers consume as much as 200 kWh and will face an increase of P58.63 in their bills.

The Department of Energy (DOE) under its new chairman Alfonso Cusi, aims to continue the national electrification program by the previous administration, with a target of 100% electricity coverage by 2022. DOE will also target to provide consumers with lower electricity rates.