Meralco distributes bills reflecting first of rate hikes

The next two increases in generation charge will be reflected in the February and March billings

HIGHER BILLS. Meralco customers will have to shell out more for electricity in December, February and March. AFP PHOTO/Jay Directo

MANILA, Philippines – Two days after the government approved the request of Manila Electric Company (Meralco) to increase its generation charge, the power distributor said it had started distributing billing statements reflecting the increase.

“Yes, we have started billing our customers,” Meralco senior vice president Alfredo Panlilio, who is also head for customer retail service, said in a text message.

On Monday, December 9, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) approved Meralco’s proposal  to implement an increase of P3.44 per kilowatt hour (kWh) in its generation charge on staggered basis.

The increase, which will be spread across 3 billing periods, was for the generation cost for November. The first will be reflected in the December bills.

The following are the components of Meralco’s December billing:

  • P2 per kilowatt hour (kWh) for generation charge
  • P0.04 per kWh for transmission rates
  • P0.17 per kWh for taxes
  • P0.20 per kWh for other charges

Added up, these components  translate to a total adjustment of P2.41 per kWh.

This means, a Meralco consumer with an average monthly consumption of 200 kWh will have to pay an additional P481.62.

“The bills are being generated based on the staggered implementation cleared by ERC,” Meralco head of utility economics Lawrence Fernandez said.

The generation charge will go up by P1 per kWh in February and P0.44 per kWh in March.

Meanwhile, the investigation to determine whether there was a collusion among power suppliers is ongoing, according to  Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla. 

Based on Meralco’s presentation the power plants that went on scheduled outage were:

  • Pagbilao 2 (375 MW)
  • GN Power 2 (300 MW) 
  • San Lorenzo module 50 (250 MW)
  • Ilijan 2 (600 MW)
  • Ilijan 1 (600 MW)
  • Calaca 2 (300 MW)

The power plants that went on forced outages were:

  • San Lorenzo Mod 60 (250 MW)
  • Calaca 1 (300 MW)
  • GN Power 2 (300 MW)

This alleged collusion is said to  have caused Meralco’s P3.44-per kilowatt-hour rate hike, much higher than the expected P1.58-kWh increase.

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