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Meralco power rate up by 57 centavos in February

Customers of the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) should expect higher electricity bills this month as the power distributor hiked its household rate.

In an advisory on Thursday, Meralco announced it increased its electricity rate by 57.38 centavos per kilowatt-hour (kWh).

This brought the power distributor’s overall rate for a typical household to P11.9168 per kWh in February from P11.3430 per kWh in January.

The upward adjustment translates to an increment of about P115 in the total bill of a residential customer consuming 200 kWh.

Meralco said the increase in the electricity rate was due to the hike in generation charge by 45.52 centavos to P7.1020 per kWh from P6.6468 per kWh last month, primarily due to higher cost of power from Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and Power Supply Agreements (PSAs).

The company said charges from IPPs increased by P1.4764 per kWh due to higher fuel costs of First Gas-Sta. Rita and San Lorenzo power plants, mainly resulting from the increased use of imported liquefied natural gas.

Peso’s depreciation also contributed to the increase in IPP charges, which were 96% dollar-denominated.

Meanwhile, charges from PSAs also rose by 15.58 centavos per kWh due to higher charges from Emergency PSAs and peso depreciation, which affected around 11% of PSA costs that were dollar-denominated. 

Meralco said IPPs and PSAs accounted for 32.8% and 46.8%, respectively, of its total energy supply in the last supply month.

The increases in IPP and PSA charges, however, were tempered by the 40.71 centavo per kWh decrease in charges from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) due to improved supply situation in the Luzon grid as average demand and average capacity on outage were lower by about 502 MW and 101 MW, respectively, for the January supply month.

Meralco sourced 20.4% of its total energy requirement from the WESM during the period.

Moreover, Meralco said transmission and other charges registered a net increase of 11.86 centavos per kWh, reflecting the resumption of the 3.64 centavo per kWh Feed-In Tariff Allowance (FIT-All) collection starting the February billing month as ordered by the Energy Regulatory Commission.

The company said pass-through charges for generation and transmission are paid by Meralco to the power suppliers and the grid operator, respectively, while taxes, universal charges, and FIT-All are all remitted to the government.

“Meralco’s distribution charge, on the other hand, has not moved since the 3.60-centavo per kWh reduction for a typical residential customer beginning August 2022,” it said. —VAL, GMA Integrated News