POWER RATES SLIGHTLY UP ON HIGHER TRANSMISSION CHARGE
MANILA, PHILIPPINES, 8th October 2021 – The Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) announced today that electricity rates barely moved for the month of October. Overall rate for a typical household inched up by only P0.0283 per kWh to P9.1374 per kWh from last month’s P9.1091 registered on account of higher transmission charge. This is equivalent to an increase of only around P6 in the total bill of a residential customer consuming 200 kWh.
Transmission Charge Drives Overall Rate Increase
Transmission charge for residential customers increased by P0.0282 per kWh to P0.7085 per kWh from P0.6803 due to higher ancillary service charges, which accounted for about 33 percent of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines’ (NGCP) total transmission costs.
Distribution True-Up Refund Mitigates Increase
The increase in overall rates was partly tempered by MERALCO’s continued implementation of the Distribution Rate True-Up refund which began in March 2021. The refund rate for residential customers is at P0.2761 per kWh and appears in customer bills as a line item called “Dist True-Up.”
It can be recalled that the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) provisionally approved MERALCO’s proposal to refund around P13.9 billion over a period of 24 months or until the amount is fully refunded. This amount represented the difference between the Actual Weighted Average Tariff and the ERC-approved Interim Average Rate for distribution-related charges for the period July 2015 to November 2020.
Lower Generation Charge Due to Improved Supply Situation
The October generation charge, meanwhile, registered a slight reduction of P0.0004 per kWh to P5.0435 from P5.0439 per kWh in the previous month.
Lower average capacity on outage and average demand in the Luzon grid during September supply month pulled down charges from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) by P1.2061 per kWh. The share of WESM to MERALCO’s total requirement was higher at 13.4 percent during the month.
Charges from Independent Power Producers (IPPs), which decreased by P0.0527 per kWh, also contributed to the generation charge reduction. The cost of using alternative liquid fuel during the Malampaya gas supply restriction in September was not yet included in the charges and will be billed in subsequent months.
Charges from Power Supply Agreements (PSAs), on the other hand, went up by P0.3156 per kWh to P4.9417 per kWh from the P4.6261 per kWh largely due to higher fuel prices and the Peso’s depreciation.
IPPs and PSAs accounted for 37.1, and 49.5 percent, respectively, of MERALCO’s energy requirement.
Taxes and other charges, on the other hand, registered a slight increase of P0.0005 per kWh.
The collection of the Universal Charge-Environmental Charge amounting to P0.0025 per kWh also remains suspended, as directed by the ERC.
Meralco reiterated that it does not earn from the pass-through charges from generation and transmission, as payments go to the power suppliers and the system operator, respectively, while taxes, universal charges, and Feed-in Tariff Allowance (FIT-All) are remitted to the government.
Distribution, supply, and metering charges which are the only costs that go to MERALCO have remained unchanged for 75 months as of October, after registering reductions in July 2015.
No Disconnection in Areas under MECQ, Granular Lockdowns
MERALCO’s disconnection activities remained suspended in Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Lucena City in Quezon, which are still under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ), from October 1 to 15.
Also covered by the suspension are areas in National Capital Region that were placed under granular lockdown by their respective local government units until October 15.
For other areas under General Community Quarantine (GCQ), MERALCO assures it will be very considerate to customers who need more time to settle their bills.
Customers may get in touch conveniently and safely by sending a private or direct message through Meralco Facebook and Twitter accounts or call the 16211 hotline.
They may also book an online appointment through the Meralco website for a safe and hassle-free transaction should they opt to visit Meralco Business Centers (BC).
Meralco BCs are open to accept payments, applications and customer assistance. Business hours are from 7am to 4pm from Monday to Friday and 7am to 12pm on Saturdays for payment transactions only.
Meralco will continue vital operations such as meter reading, bill delivery, and service crews will continue to work around the clock to serve its customers.
Meralco Promotes Energy Efficiency
Meralco continues to encourage customers to practice safety tips and energy efficiency.
These include ensuring that circuit breakers are turned off amid flooding, remaining dry at all times before touching any electrical facility, unplugging appliances, removing mud and dirt from service equipment while wearing rubber gloves and rubber-soled shoes, ensuring all electrical wires and devices are dry and having wiring systems checked by a licensed electrician.
Meanwhile, customers can save energy consumption with several tips such as cleaning aircon filters every two weeks, making sure that the proper aircon capacity is utilized, preventing refrigerators’ air vents from getting blocked, unplugging appliances when not in use, using a power strip to make it more convenient in turning off appliances and maximizing natural light during daytime.