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Households using 200 kWh will see bills slashed by P82

The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) announced lower overall power rates for May, citing lower generation charges, particularly for power plants using natural gas.

Meralco announced the rate for its residential customers this May would go down by 41 centavos per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to PhP8.444 per kWh. For a typical household consuming 200 kWh, this translates to a reduction of around P82 in the electricity bill.

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The decrease in the overall rates was primarily due to the generation charge, which decreased by 21 centavos per kWh from the previous month. A decrease in transmission charges and other taxes also contributed to the softening of prices.

Power plants utilizing natural gas from Malampaya, namely South Premier-Ilijan, First Gas-Sta. Rita and First Gas-San Lorenzo, all registered reduced charges because of lower fuel costs, Meralco said. Malampaya natural gas prices are adjusted quarterly and are indexed against world crude oil prices.

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The current pricing covered months when crude oil spot prices in the world market fell to as low as $31 per barrel. Meralco said the three natural gas plants supplied more than half, or 54 percent, of Meralco’s requirements.

As a result, charges from Independent Power Producers (IPPs), led by the First Gas plants, decreased by 19 centavos per kWh.

Meanwhile, Meralco’s Power Supply Agreements (PSAs) registered a reduction of 25 centavos per kWh, driven by the higher dispatch of the Calaca power plant. Masinloc also registered lower rates due to lower instances of outages. The two offset higher charges from Pagbilao, which was on scheduled maintenance from April 1 to 16.

Similarly, charges from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) registered a decrease of P1.98 per kWh. This was mainly due to lesser power plant outages during the April supply month as compared to March.  In March, supply was affected by the scheduled maintenance of several large power generating units, including Calaca unit 2, GNPower unit 1, South Luzon Thermal Energy Corp unit 1, Masinloc unit 2 and Quezon Power.

The share of PSAs, IPPs, and WESM to Meralco’s total power requirements stood at 45.9 percent, 42.4 percent and 11.7 percent, respectively.

In relation to the upcoming 2016 elections, Meralco said it has already completed the inspection, maintenance and repair of its distribution facilities to ensure they are in tip-top condition.

Meralco said it has completed the inspection of polling and canvassing centers within its franchise area, and has made the necessary recommendations to the respective school/building administrators to address potential troubles.

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Meralco also said more than 200 generators will be on standby on election day, which would be dispatched immediately by Meralco roving teams if needed. These generator sets intend to provide basic lighting to polling and canvassing places and to ensure the continuity of the conduct of elections in case of unexpected power interruption.

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TAGS: Business, cost, economy, Manila Electric Co., Meralco, Natural Gas, News, power, rates
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