Lower Meralco charges in February

While a temporary restraining order cut January charges to P5.67, February's charges are even less by P0.13 per kWh

LOWER CHARGES. Charges are P0.13 per kWh lower than January's actual charges. File photo by Romeo Gacad/AFP

MANILA, Philippines – The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) said it will bill customers a lower generation charge for February, bumping down official charges to P5.54 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) from P10.23 per kWh in January.

The lower prices were brought about by a P30.67 per kWh reduction in power costs sourced from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM). Meralco said it would pass through this lower generation charge in February’s billing.

Due to a temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the supreme court for the billing month of December 2013, however, January’s billing charges were capped at P5.67 per kWh rather than P10.23 per kWh.

The change was made to reflect the generation cost set by the TRO. This means that February’s generation charge is actually only P0.13 less than January’s actual generation charge.

Meralco also explained a large difference in WESM charges from December to January. Whereas December’s WESM charges were at P36.08 per kWh in December, they went down to P5.41 per kWh in January. The change was expected as power supplies normalized and baseload power plants resumed normal operations. (READ: Meralco to customers: Disregard December bills)

The shutdown of the Malampaya gas facility and numerous shutdowns of other major power plants during November and December also caused an aberration in the generation charge levels for customers’ bills in December and January 2014.

Meanwhile, the average cost of power sourced from plants selling to Meralco under the Power Supply Agreements (PSAs) went down 28 centavos per kWh from P5.08 per kWh to P4.81 per kWh, with Meralco’s PSAs remaining the lowest cost of supply among power suppliers.

Independent Power Producers registered a 48-centavo per kWh reduction, bringing down a previous charge of P6.47 per kWh to P5.99 per kWh this month. Two of Meralco’s IPPs, Sta. Rita and Ilijan, used more expensive liquid fuel during the Malampaya shutdown instead of natural gas.

For January, PSAs, IPPs, and WESM provided 52%, 46% and 2% of Meralco’s total power requirements, respectively. – Rappler.com