By Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 8, 2017 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - Residential customers of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) will see a slight increase in electricity bills in July as the weaker peso, lower supply and higher spot market prices push up the generation charge.
The power distributor announced a P0.0761 per kilowatt-hour increase in overall rate this month, from P8.17 per kwh to P8.25 per kwh, comparable to the January 2010 level.
This translates to an increase of P15.22 for a 200-kwh household, P22.83 for a 300-kwh user, P30.44 for a 400-kwh customer and P38.05 for a 500-kwh consumer.
Meralco said the July rate already reflects the second tranche of the refund arising from the P6.9-billion over-recovery on pass-through charges from January 2014 to December 2016.
“The refund is not shown as a separate line item in the bill but is embedded in the different pass-through charges indicated in the bill, which include generation, transmission and system loss charges and lifeline and senior citizen subsidies. For residential customers, the refund translates to a reduction of P0.79 per kwh, excluding taxes,” it said.
Generation charge for the period went up by P0.0799 per kwh from P3.8586 per kwh in June to P3.9385 per kwh for this month mainly due to higher charges of the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).
The IPP cost increased by P0.1751 per kwh due to peso depreciation, which caused the increase in peso conversion of dollar charges, and lower plant dispatch.
Meanwhile, purchases from WESM also increased by P0.4548 per kwh mainly due to billing adjustments, which include the additional compensation approved by the Philippine Electricity Market Corp. for the must-run unit (MRU) operations of the Malaya power plant from 2012 to 2015.
In the WESM, power plants become MRU when instructed by the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines to provide additional supply.
On the other hand, the cost of power from Power Supply Agreements (PSAs) decreased by P0.0176 per kwh due to lower coal prices and improved average plant dispatch.
The share of IPPs and WESM purchases to Meralco’s total requirements are 40.8 percent and 12.4 percent, respectively. The share of PSAs this month stood at 46.8 percent.
In terms of other bill components, transmission charge of residential customers rose by P0.0042 per kwh. But taxes and other charges went down by a combined amount of around P0.0080 per kwh.
Meralco’s distribution, supply and metering charges, meanwhile, have remained unchanged for 24 months or since July 2015.