Meralco bill to increase by 27-cents in April
MANILA, Philippines - Soaring electricity usage, higher coal prices, strong peso and maintenance shutdowns of power plants in March all led to the P0.27 increase per kilowatt hour (kWh) in the April electricity bills of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) customers.
With the onset of summer, Meralco noted a 5% increase in daily electricity usage in March compared to February.
On Wednesday, April 10, Meralco, the country's biggest power distributor, announced the hike in the April electricity bill and attributed it to charges passed on by generation and transmission players.
This is the breakdown of the April bill's increase:
- P0.20 increase in generation to P5.39 per kWh
- P0.01 hike in transmission
- P0.06 in other charges
The P5.39 per kWh generation charge reflects the P0.55 per kWh adjustment in the combined cost of power purchased by Meralco from the state-owned National Power Corp. (Napocor), the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) and others.
Power bought from Napocor and WESM respectively contributed 51% and 39% to the total supply requirements for March.
Electricity sourced from the WESM more than doubled to 2.9% from 1.3% of total requirements. Some power plants underwent maintenance shutdown in March, resulting in the additional power purchases via WESM.
Meanwhile, slightly higher coal prices and depreciation of the peso against the dollar resulted in the 8- and 2-centavo per kWh increase in the rates of Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and the Power Supply Agreements (PSAs).
Of these power suppliers, the PSAs still offer the lowest rates at P4.24 per kWh in March. Its year-to-date average is P4.29 per kWh, or P1.22 lower than the last Napocor rate of P5.51 per kWh reflected in the December 2012 supply month.
The WESM effective rate, which includes line rentals and must-run and other adjustments, stood at P19.92 per kWh.
Meralco’s distribution, supply, and metering charges account for only about 18% on the average of the total electricity bill.
The other pass-through costs include transmission, taxes, universal charges, and other charges. - Rappler.com