Manila Electric Company (Meralco) rates will increase for the fifth straight month in the August bill.
In a statement on Monday, August 9, Meralco announced an increase of P0.0965 per kilowatt-hour to P9.0036 per kWh – P0.5969 more since rates first went up in April.
This is equivalent to increases for households consuming the following, for example:
- P19.30 for 200 kWh
- P28.95 for 300 kWh
- P38.60 for 400 kWh
- P48.25 for 500 kWh
Despite the increase, Meralco said the August 2021 rate is still lower than the pre-pandemic rate of P9.5674 per kWh in August 2019.
The power distributor attributed the increase to a higher transmission charge of P0.7327 per kWh, which is P0.1331 per kWh higher. Meralco said this is due to higher ancillary service chargers, which accounted for a little over a third of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines’ total transmission charge.
Meralco added that the distribution rate refund worth P0.2761 per kWh slightly tempered the increase in transmission charges.
Aside from the transmission charges, the generation charge also inched up by P0.0615 per kWh to P4.9322 per kWh in August.
Charges from independent power producers (IPPs) again increased by P0.7389 per kWh, due to the Malampaya gas restriction, as gas-fired power plants have to use the more expensive liquid fuel. Meralco also said IPP charges increased due to peso depreciation.
Charges for power supply agreements and the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), meanwhile, were down by P0.0347 per kWh and P2.6903 per kWh, respectively, which offset the increase in IPP rates.
As WESM prices remained high in the first half of July due to tight supply conditions, the WESM share was slightly down to 6.2%. PSAs and IPPs provided 53% and 40.8%, respectively.
Subsidies, taxes, and other charges decreased by P0.0981 per kWh. The collection of the environmental charge amounting to P0.0025 per kWh remained suspended as ordered by the Energy Regulatory Commission.
Meralco has said that disconnection activities will be suspended in areas placed under stricter quarantine restrictions. – Rappler.com
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