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Addt’l P60-P80 in monthly bills seen amid suspension of Meralco-SMC supply deal — ERC

Customers of the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) may expect costlier monthly bills following the cessation of the power supply agreement (PSA) between the company and San Miguel’s South Premier Power Corp. (SPPC), the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said Thursday.

Citing the regulator’s computation, ERC chairperson Monalisa Dimalanta said a typical Meralco customer consuming 200 kilowatt-hours (kWh) may expect “P60 to P80 additional for the month.”

Meralco earlier said it is negotiating with power generation companies to fill the 670-megawatt (MW) supply it lost after SPPC ended their power supply deal to shield customers from potential price increase.

For the meantime, the power distributor said it is sourcing the supply covered by the PSA from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).

Dimalanta said the 670-MW from SPPC that Meralco lost accounted for over 13% of the power distributor’s supply.

“Kung sa computation namin kung titignan ang 13% na nabanggit ko na dating P4.30 [per kWh] kung kukunin sa WESM… Last month kasi ang WESM nag-average ng P8.50 sabihin na natin P9 [per kWh],” she said.

(If we look at our computation, the 13% I mentioned is priced at P4.30 and if it will be sourced from WESM… Last month, the WESM price averaged at P8.50 or let’s say P9.)

“Kung ‘yung diperensya ang papalit nang buo sa P4.30 maga-amount ‘yan sa…Halimbawa tayo ay kumukunsumo ng 200 kwh a month, 13% nun papalitan mo from P4.30 to P8 or P9, so tataas ang konsumo ng 30 centavos per kWh,” she added.

(If the difference will entirely replace the P4.30, it will amount to… For example, if we consume 200 kWh a month, the 13% supply priced at P4.30 will be P8 or P9 so the consumption cost may increase by 30 centavos per kWh.)

Based on ERC records of Meralco billings for November 2022, the 670MW SPPC PSA accounted for 13.4% of the power distributor’s supply and priced at P4.245 per kilowatt-hour (kWh).

Average WESM price, meanwhile, for the same period was at P8.47/kWh.

The temporary cessation of the PSA between Meralco and SPPC was due to the Court of Appeals issuance of temporary restraining order (TRO) on the supply deal between the two companies for 60 days.

The CA decision stemmed from SPPC’s petition asking for temporary relief after the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) rejected its pleas together with San Miguel Energy Corp., and Meralco to hike generation charge amid higher prices for coal and natural gas materials used to produce electricity.

The ERC, however, said that the agreed price in the PSA is fixed by nature and the grounds for increase cited by SPPC and Meralco were not among the exceptions that would allow for price adjustment.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. earlier said that his administration is working at preventing the potential hike in power prices following the CA decision.—AOL, GMA Integrated News