Meralco rate hike of P0.12 per kWh set in October
MANILA, Philippines — Electricity rates are set to increase by P0.12 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) this month, the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) announced Friday.
Meralco said in a statement that the adjustment is due to higher generation charges caused by tighter supply in the Luzon grid amid consumer demand upsurge.
According to the power utility firm, which services Metro Manila and its nearby provinces, this rate hike means September’s P8.4288 per kWh will become P8.5500 per kWh starting this October
“From P4.0860 per kWh in September, the generation charge increased by P0.1373 per kWh to P4.2233 per kWh this October. After six straight months of reduction totaling P0.5772 per kWh, the October generation charge is still P0.4399 per kWh lower than in March,” Meralco explained.
Meralco also noted the latest power rate increase is still lower than the October 2019’s P9.0862 per kWh.
“This month’s increase in generation charge is mainly due to higher Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) charges, brought about by tightened supply conditions and higher demand,” it added.
Further, Meralco said it has observed a spike in electricity demand after Metro Manila and other provinces transitioned from a two-week modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) to curb rising COVID-19 cases to a general community quarantine (GCQ).
“From August 2020’s peak demand of 10,422 MW, peak demand in September was higher at 10,570 MW. September 2020’s peak was also higher than September 2019’s 10,392 MW, the first time since the start of the pandemic that demand exceeded its year-ago level,” Meralco explained.
Meralco’s announcement of a rate increase comes in the midst of consumer requests for it to extend the payment of bills computed during the quarantine periods as many workers either suffered pay cuts or were laid off from work as lockdowns affected various industries and businesses.
READ: Consumers ask Meralco to extend grace period for power line disconnections
Meralco has set the deadline for payments on October 31, but its spokesperson, Joe Zaldarriaga, assured Wednesday that Meralco will be considerate of its customers’ needs.
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