Meralco hikes electricity rates by 24.5¢/kWh


07:56 AM November 10th, 2012

By: Amy R. Remo, November 10th, 2012 07:56 AM

MANILA, Philippines—Expect higher electricity bills this month.

Power distributor Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) will raise power rates by a total of 24.5 centavos per kilowatt-hour this month to reflect the increases in the generation, transmission and system loss charges.

Thus, households consuming 100 kWh every month can expect an increase of P17.77 in their monthly power bills while those using up 200 kWh and 300 kWh will have to pay an additional P47.40 and P71.10, respectively, according to Lawrence S. Fernandez, assistant vice president and head of utility economics of Meralco.

Households consuming 400 kWh monthly will have to shell out another P94.80 for their November power bills, Fernandez said on Friday.

In a statement, Meralco explained that of the total increase of 24.5 centavos per kWh, 13.5 centavos per kWh represented the increase in generation charge, 9 centavos from the hike in transmission charges and 2 centavos from a higher system loss charge.

The hike in the generation charge to P5.63 per kWh can be attributed to the increases in the cost of electricity bought from the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM), whose rates rose by P2.30 per kWh, and from state-run National Power Corp. (Napocor), which registered a 15-centavo-per-kWh rise in its rates.

“The increase in the WESM was partly due to the reliance on more expensive, oil-fired plants to compensate for the unavailability of some coal and gas fired power plants that were on outage and a lower output from hydroelectric power plants. The higher WESM and Napocor charges were partially offset by a reduction in prices from independent power producers (IPPs), which went down by 21 centavos per kWh,” Meralco explained.

These IPPs were Quezon Power Philippines Ltd.’s coal-fed facility and the 1,000-megawatt Sta. Rita, the 500-MW San Lorenzo natural gas-fired plants that are owned by the Lopez-led First Gas Holdings. Another power source for Meralco is Consunji-led SEM Calaca, which owns and operates a 600-MW coal facility in Batangas.

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