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High temperatures raise demand for electricity, cause higher rates

Electricity consumers may expect higher power rates starting next month as the country’s consumption increases due to higher temperatures.

According to Maki Pulido’s report on “24 Oras” on Wednesday, the higher demand for electric supply jacked up prices in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).

Settlement prices in Luzon and Visayas climbed to 16.8% or P7.68 per kilowatt hour for March and April from the previous P6.57/kWh. It decreased in Mindanao, however, with current prices plunging to P5.36/kwh from P6.56/kWh.

“Hindi po natin kontrolado ang presyo sa susunod na araw nitong binibili natin sa WESM. Dahil sa ngayon po kasi marami pa ang kinukuha natin sa WESM,” Camarines Sur Electric Cooperative II Spokesperson Rinner Bucay said.

(We cannot control the prices in the next days because of the increase in prices in WESM. We get a majority of our electricity requirement from the WESM.)

Manila Electric Company (Meralco) likewise said it had yet to assess the impact of the higher rates from WESM on their customers.

“A big possibility na yung impact sa WESM ay maramdaman sa overall rates. Sa early part of May, i-announce natin ‘yan,” said Meralco Spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga said.

(The WESM affecting the overall rates is a big possibility. We will announce that in the early part of May.)

For its part, the advocacy group Power for the People Coalition (P4P) reiterated the need for more renewable energy in the country’s power mix.

“Ang rekomendasyon talaga namin ay una, mas maraming renewable players sa electricity spot market. Kasi ibig sabihin nun, hahatakin niya ang overall price,” P4P Convenor Gerry Arances said.

(We recommend having more renewable players in the electricity spot market. This means it would lessen the overall price.) —Sundy Locus/NB, GMA Integrated News