power and water

Meralco rates slightly increase in April 2021

Aika Rey
Meralco rates slightly increase in April 2021
Meralco attributes the increase to higher Wholesale Electricity Spot Market prices

The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) on Thursday, April 8, announced a slight increase in rates as the generation charge went up.

The power distributor said the overall rate for a typical household is increasing by P0.0872 per kilowatt hour (kWh) to P8.4067 per kWh in April.

This is equivalent to increases for households consuming the following, for example:

  • P17.44 for 200 kWh
  • P26.16 for 300 kWh
  • P34.88 for 400 kWh
  • P43.60 for 500 kWh

Meralco said the overall rate is still P0.5884 per kWh lower year-on-year.

The generation charge increased by P0.1621 to P4.5370 in April, as prices at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) were higher by P2.5991 per kWh due to tighter supply from the Luzon grid.

“Peak demand in Luzon increased by almost 1,000 megawatts (MW) in March as a result of warmer temperature, while unavailable capacity from plant outages remained above 3,400 MW. WESM share is slightly down to 11% this month,” the power distributor said.

Meralco added that lower costs from independent power producers (IPPs) and power supply agreements (PSA) mitigated the increase in WESM charges. Rates of IPPs and PSAs decreased by P0.2090 and P0.1371 per kWh, respectively. IPPs contributed 39% to the share while PSAs’ shares reached 50%.

The overall rate in April still includes adjustments for over- and under-recoveries amounting to a net refund of P0.1150 per kWh, as well as the distribution rate true-up refund worth P0.2761 per kWh.

Higher WESM prices

The Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP), the operator of WESM, said on Thursday that prices spiked in March due to increase in demand as well as unplanned plant outages.

March spot prices averaged at P4.16 per kWh, almost twice the February average of P2.22 per kWh.

IEMOP said unplanned outages in March substantially increased to 1,590 MW, compared to the planned 996 MW. It added that 75.44% of outage capacity was traceable to coal power plants, which resulted in a generation drop from 54.3% to 53.9%.

Demand, meanwhile, increased by 11% on average or around 997 MW month-on-month. Peak demand reached 12,582 MW at 2 pm of March 18.

IEMOP noted that the 12,190-MW forecast for April is lower than March due to stricter quarantine classifications, as experienced by a drop in demand during Holy Week.

But it expects peak demand to increase again leading to June, at 12,611 MW, as the country experiences warmer weather. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.