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January power bills up by P0.36/kWh


01:46 AM January 10th, 2013

By: Amy R. Remo, January 10th, 2013 01:46 AM

Customers of power distributor Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) can expect an increase of 36 centavos a kilowatt-hour (kWh) in their electricity bills this month due to higher generation and system loss charges.

This means that households consuming 100 kWh a month have to pay an additional P28.55 for January, while those consuming 200 kWh need to shell out P71.93 more, according to Lawrence S. Fernandez, assistant vice president and head of utility economics of Meralco.

Households with a monthly consumption of 300 kWh and 400 kWh have to pay an additional P107.90 and P143.86, respectively, Fernandez said.

In a separate statement, Meralco explained that the bulk of the increase in its customers’ bills in January could be attributed to the higher cost of electricity sourced from state-run National Power Corp. (Napocor).

Napocor rates, according to Meralco, rose by 44 centavos a kWh during the December supply month as the state power agency was allowed to recover costs associated with fuel and purchased power through the Generation Rate Adjustment Mechanism (GRAM).

The distribution utility added that Napocor also shortened the recovery period of the GRAM to 36 months from 55 months starting November 2012. This explained the higher December 2012 bill of Napocor to Meralco.

The increase in the cost of electricity sourced from Napocor was partly offset by the decreases in the rates of power from Meralco’s other supply sources.

For the supply month of December, Meralco sourced 46 percent of its electricity requirements from independent power producers (IPPs), 34 percent from Napocor and 8 percent from the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM). Napocor’s special rate programs made up the remaining 12 percent, the power distributor said.

Meanwhile, Meralco also reported that the transmission charge fell slightly by 1.41 centavo a kWh, while the system loss charges rose by 3.30 centavos a kWh.

Meralco stressed that it did not earn from pass-through charges, the biggest of which is the generation charge. Payments for the generation charge go to power producers such as Napocor, the IPPs and the WESM.

The company’s own rates—in the form of distribution, supply and metering charges—account for only 16 percent of the total electricity bill.

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