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Meralco bills to go down in May

Big drop in transmission charges noted

By: Amy R. Remo, May 9th, 2013 11:20 PM


Customers of Manila Electric Co. can expect their electricity bills to go down in May because of a reduction in transmission charges.

The country’s biggest power distributor reported that electricity rates would be reduced by 12 centavos per kilowatt-hour (kWh). This means that a household consuming 100 kWh a month can expect P5.65 to be shaved off from its power bill.

Also, a household consuming 200 kWh will see a decrease of P23.70, said Lawrence S. Fernandez, assistant vice president and head of utility economics for Meralco.

Households that consume from 300 kWh to 400 kWh monthly will enjoy reductions of P35.55 to P47.40, respectively, Fernandez said in a phone interview Thursday.

In a separate statement, Meralco explained that the transmission charge recently posted its biggest decrease of around 12 centavos per kWh, mainly due to lower ancillary service charges from National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP).

Other components of the power bill that reportedly came out lower were the system loss charge, lifeline rate subsidy, the value added tax (VAT) and the local franchise tax, which had a cumulative reduction of 8 centavos per kWh.

However, the generation charge, or the cost of power sourced by Meralco from its suppliers, registered an increase of 8 centavos per kWh to P5.47 per kWh during the April supply month. The cost of power consumed in a given month, say April, is billed to end-consumers the following month, or in this case, May.

This month’s generation charge, however, was 13 centavos lower than that reported in May 2012.

Meralco said that with the onset of summer, demand for power climbed to record levels during the April supply month.

“Peak demand in Luzon hit 8,221 megawatts (MW), overtaking the 7,898 MW recorded in 2012. Similarly, peak demand in the Meralco service area set a new record of 5,829 MW in April versus 2012’s 5,633 MW,” the distribution utility said.

“As a result, Meralco had to obtain more supply from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market to supplement [its supply sourced] from power supply agreements, independent power producers and the National Power Corp.,” it added.

The power firm also said that while the cost of power sourced from power supply agreements rose to P4.34 per kWh in April from the previous month’s P4.24 per kWh, the rate is still the lowest compared to Meralco’s other suppliers.

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