MANILA, Philippines – Christmas might not be so merry for some once they see that their Manila Electric Company (Meralco) bill this month reflects higher power rates.
The utility firm said on Wednesday, December 9 that this month’s increase in overall rates is primarily due to a higher generation charge of P4.13 per kilowatt hour (kWh), or P0.046 per kWh higher than last month.
Generation charge is the largest component of an electric bill. Payment for the generation charge goes to power suppliers.
Transmission charge also registered an increase of P0.007 per kWh due to higher ancillary service charges. Payment for the transmission charge goes to the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).
A P0.55 per kWh overall rate for residential customers is equivalent to an increase of P11 for a typical household consuming 200 kWh.
Charges from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) went up by P0.535 per kWh, mainly due to the lower generation from hydro plants. There were also more forced outages in November than in October.
Plants under the Power Supply Agreements (PSAs) also registered a slight increase of P0.009 per kWh due to lower dispatch of SEM Calaca and the increase in fuel cost of the Ilijan plant, driven by the weakening of the peso against the dollar.
The average rate of the plants under the Independent Power Producers (IPPs), meanwhile, decreased by P0.005 per kWh. This was driven by the higher dispatch of Sta. Rita after no outages were observed in November.
The share of PSAs, IPPs, and WESM to Meralco’s total power requirements stood at 49.9%, 44.4%, and 5.7%, respectively.
There was also a combined increase of P0.002 per kWh in taxes and other charges, such as system loss and subsidies, following the increases in the generation and transmission charges.
Meralco’s distribution, supply, and metering charges remain unchanged after registering a reduction in July.
In November, Meralco announced that overall rates went up by P0.13 per kilowatt hour (kWh) to P8.55 per kWh. The hike came after 6 straight months of reduction. (READ: Meralco rates rise in November)
Meralco reiterated on Wednesday that it does not earn from the pass-through charges, such as the generation and transmission charges. – Rappler.com