Red Alerts, high WESM prices push up MERALCO rates in July


The Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) has confirmed that its rates for July will increase by Php0.2353 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to Php8.9071/kWh as a result of the Red and Yellow Alerts from May 31-June 4 that also triggered high prices in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).

This translates to a Php47 increase for typical households consuming 200kWh monthly.

The generation charge, which accounts for the bulk of customers’ electricity bills, went up by Php0.276/kWh to Php4.8707 in July from Php4.6171/kWh in June. 

MERALCO utility economics head Lawrence Fernandez said the largest contributor leading to the adjustment is the persistently high prices from the spot market.

Charges from WESM increased by Php2.2815/kWh to Php8.7424 in July from Php6.4609 in the previous month, while independent power producers’ charges also increased by Php0.1929/kWh to Php4.6332 in July from Php4.4403 in June. 

Meanwhile, charges from the Power Supply Agreements slightly went down by Php0.0521 to Php4.4114 in July from Php4.4635 in June.

The overall rate still includes the distribution rate true-up refund for residential customers, which is worth Php0.2731/kWh.

MERALCO spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga said that the charges in the spot market remained high because of the high demand and tight power supply conditions in the Luzon Grid, which was aggravated by the Malampaya gas restriction.

Aside from the high WESM prices, Fernandez said the depreciation of peso also affected the adjustment.