Expect lower power bills this month—Meralco

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02:56 AM January 10th, 2012

By: Amy R. Remo, January 10th, 2012 02:56 AM

Customers of power distributor Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) can look forward to a reduction in their electricity bills this month after the generation charge fell by 5 centavos per kilowatt-hour to P5.46 per kWh.

Households consuming 100 kWh a month can expect a decrease of P5 in their electric bills, while those that use 200 kWh a month will enjoy a P10 reduction for January. Households that consume 300 kWh and 400 kWh monthly can also expect decreases of P15 and P20, respectively.

Meralco attributed the decline to the reduction in the price of electricity purchased from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).

“WESM prices fell by P1.85 per kWh to P 7.14 per kWh in the December supply month from P9 per kWh in November,” the power utility said.

Meralco explained that spot market prices gradually declined after the power supply situation in Luzon normalized. It will be recalled that the Luzon grid experienced generation capacity constraints in late October last year due to the maintenance shutdown of the Malampaya natural gas pipeline, which supplies three power facilities generating a combined 2,700 megawatts.

Total energy consumption also went down slightly due to cooler temperatures in December, Meralco added.

Meralco noted that the reduction in WESM prices had offset the slightly higher prices from the independent power producers (IPPs), whose prices went up by an average of 13 centavos. This can be attributed to the decrease in the electricity output of the IPPs to 78.1 percent in December from a high of 94.5 percent in November.

Meralco currently sources power from three IPPs namely, Quezon Power Philippines Ltd.’s coal-fired facility and the 1,000-megawatt Sta. Rita and the 500-MW San Lorenzo natural gas-fired power plants, both owned by the Lopez-led First Gas Holdings.

Meanwhile, the price of electricity sourced from state-run National Power Corp. (Napocor) has remained stable.

The distribution utility said it sourced 12 percent of its electricity last month from the WESM; 42 percent from IPPs; and 46 percent from Napocor. The costs will be reflected in the January electricity bills.

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