Meralco sales drop in Jan-Sept 2014
MANILA, Philippines – A combination of weather disturbances, frugal household consumption, and cooler temperature has dragged down Manila Electric Company’s (Meralco) revenue growth from energy consumption by -3.1% in the first 9 months of 2014.
From energy earnings of P205.316 billion ($4.583 billion*) in January-September 2013, Meralco posted a negative growth in the same period this year at P199.042 billion ($4.443 billion*), a difference of P6.274 billion ($140.06 million*).
The downward sales was largely caused by Typhoon Glenda and tropical storm Mario, which led to Meralco’s unrealized sales of 264 gigawatt hours, according to Meralco president Oscar Reyes.
“We lost 1% growth as a result of severe [weather] disturbances,” Reyes said during Meralco’s Q3 financial and operating results briefing on Monday, October 27.
Meralco reported a total of P400.39 million ($8.938 million*) worth of damages to its facilities when Mario and Glenda hit several parts of Luzon in July and September. About 4.6 million Meralco consumers were affected by the two disasters.
The distribution company however posted a positive 37.1% increase in non-electricity revenues from P2.806 billion ($62.64 million) in 2013 to P3.848 billion ($85.902 million*) this year. The combined revenues in electricity and non-electricity transactions, though, still shows Meralco’s overall negative revenue growth at 2.5%.
The decrease in energy sales is also attributed to consumers’ decreased energy consumption as they have found ways to lower their power bills.
Earlier, Reyes estimated a trend in lowered consumption, citing increase in power rates, as well as the availability of cost-efficient appliances as some of the causes of “frugal” energy utilization.
Meralco also said it is increasing its capital expenditures next year at P13.5 billion ($301.372 million*) from P11.5 billion ($256.725 million*) in 2014. Reyes said this is to complete new electrical projects such as substations needed to energize newly-built socialized and commercial real estate projects.
“We’re hardening our distribution energy to be able to withstand typhoons or storms so that consumers are not put at inconvenience,” said Reyes.
Meralco’s debt, meanwhile, reached P30.159 billion ($673.267 million*) in the first 9 months this year from P24.207 billion ($540.395 million*) in the same period in 2013.
At present, Meralco’s consumer base has stretched to 5.53 million, a 4% increase from 5.33 in 2013. – Rappler.com