Lower Meralco bills seen in FebruaryBy Amy R. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Customers of Manila Electric Co. can expect their electricity bills to go down by a total of 58 centavos per kilowatt-hour in February, due to decreases in the generation and system loss charges.
This means that households consuming 100 kWh in a month can expect their electricity bills to go down by P47.04, while those consuming 200 kWh will see a decrease of P115.20, according to Lawrence S. Fernandez, assistant vice president and head of utility economics of Meralco.
Households that consume 300 kWh and 400 kWh monthly will meanwhile enjoy reductions of P172.80 and P230.40, respectively, Fernandez said in a telephone interview.
In a separate statement issued Thursday, Meralco said that the reduction in power bills this month can be attributed to the 55-centavo-per-kWh decline in the generation charge to P5.24 per kWh—the lowest level recorded since September 2011.
“The reduction was mainly a result of the low rates arising from the [new] power supply agreements (PSAs) Meralco signed with its suppliers. The PSAs, which replaced the National Power Corp. transition supply contract (NPC-TSC), registered a substantial reduction of P1.10 per kWh,” the distribution utility said.
Meralco signed these new PSAs with SEM-Calaca Power Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Semirara Mining Corp., which owns and operates the 600-MW Calaca coal-fired thermal power plant; San Miguel Energy and South Premiere Power Corp., both subsidiaries of San Miguel Corp.; Masinloc Power Partners Co. Ltd. of US power giant AES Corp., which owns and operates a 630-MW coal-fired power generating facility in Barangay (village) Bani, Masinloc, Zambales; and the Aboitiz-led Therma Luzon Inc. (TLI).
“The new PSAs, which were approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission, are in accordance with Meralco’s commitment to providing least-cost supply to its customers,” the statement added.
Meralco noted that the lower rates from these new PSAs mitigated a 28-centavo-per-kWh increase in the cost of power sourced from its independent power producers—Quezon Power Philippines Ltd.’s coal-fed facility and the 1,000-megawatt Sta. Rita, the 500-MW San Lorenzo natural gas-fired plants.
For the month of January, Meralco sourced 55 percent of its power supply requirements from the new PSAs; 39 percent from the IPPs; and 6 percent from other sources including the wholesale electricity spot market.
Meanwhile, Meralco also reported that transmission charges registered an increase in February, based on the bill of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) for January 2013. While the transmission charge for a household using 200 kWh went up by 6 centavos per kWh, this was more than offset by the 10-centavo per kWh combined reduction in system loss charges and taxes.
The power firm stressed anew that it does not earn from generation charges. Payments for the generation charge, which is a pass-on cost for Meralco, goes to the power producers such as Napocor, the IPPs and WESM.
The company’s own rates—in the form of distribution, supply and metering charges—account for only about 16 percent of the total electricity bill.