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Meralco to stagger implementation of P1.1B deferred generation charges in April, May billing period

To cushion the impact of higher generation costs incurred in February, the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) said Wednesday it is deferring the collection of P1.1 billion worth of generation charges this month to April and May billing periods.

In a statement, Meralco said it coordinated with its suppliers and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for the deferral of a portion of the generation costs for the February supply month.

“This will help us bring down the generation charge increase in the March billing period to the benefit of our customers,” the power distributor said.

“The total deferred generation costs of P1.1 billion, equivalent to 40 centavos per kWh (kilowatt-hour), will be collected on a staggered basis in the April and May billing periods as cleared by the regulator,” it said.

In a separate statement, the ERC said it noted the deferred collection plan contained in Meralco’s letter received on March 6, 2023.

The ERC, nonetheless, said that the deferred increase shall still be subject to further validation “as to compliance with the underlying power supply agreements and substantiation of any fuel pass through component, as applicable.”

The higher generation charge resulted from the use of more expensive alternative fuels to ensure the continuous supply of electricity as well as the escalation of prices in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), the ERC said, citing Meralco.

“In the said letter, Meralco stated that it coordinated with several of its power suppliers to request the deferral of charges from their billings for February to cushion the impact of the increase in generation rate to its customers,” the power industry regulator said. —VAL, GMA Integrated News