power and water

Malampaya shutdown drives up Meralco rates in November 2021

Aika Rey
Malampaya shutdown drives up Meralco rates in November 2021
Manila Electric Company rates near the P9.50 per kilowatt-hour mark

The Malampaya gas field shutdown significantly pushed upward the rates of the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) in November.

Tight supply conditions drove the overall rate for a typical household by P0.3256 per kilowatt-hour to P9.4630 per kWh, from October’s P9.1374.

The November hike is the highest in 2021, with the total rate nearing the P9.50-mark.

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

  • P65.12 for 200 kWh
  • P97.68 for 300 kWh
  • P130.24 for 400 kWh
  • P162.80 for 500 kWh

The overall rate in June still includes the distribution rate true-up refund worth P0.2761 per kWh, which slightly tempered the upward adjustment in charges.

Energy officials earlier said that a power rate hike is possible as over 3,200 megawatts of power supply could be affected by the maintenance of Malampaya. The shutdown was extended by three days –from October 2 to 25, from the original schedule of until October 22.

Generation charges increased by P0.2911 per kWh to P5.3346 per kWh, as power spot prices increased by P1.7073 per kWh due to the thin supply in the Luzon grid.

Spot market prices were consistently high for extended periods, triggering the imposition of a secondary price cap on September 30 and October 1, and from October 21 to 22.

Charges from the independent power producers also went up by P0.8186 per kWh. First Gen’s Sta. Rita and San Lorenzo gas-fired plants have addressed their needs by using condensate, a type of liquid fuel, which is more expensive.

Power supply agreements (PSAs) charges, meanwhile, went down by P0.2841 per kWh due to higher excess energy deliveries, priced at a discount, from AC Energy, First Gen Hydro Power, San Miguel Energy, and South Premiere Power.

Meralco also said that its new PSA with the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation helped lower the PSA rate.

Meralco also said on Friday, November 12, that the November rate would have been higher, but the distribution utility “took the initiative to cushion the impact in the bills of its customers.”

Meralco said that it coordinated with some suppliers to defer the collection of portions of their generation costs. The Energy Regulatory Commission directed that these costs be billed on a staggered basis over the next four months.

The share of the Wholesale Energy Spot Market in Meralco’s energy requirement for the November bill was up to 13.9%, while PSAs and IPPs provided 48.7% and 37.4%, respectively.

The transmission charge, meanwhile, slightly decreased by P0.0403 per kWh due to lower ancillary service and power delivery service charges.

Taxes, system loss, and other charges inched up by P0.0748 per kWh, while the collection of the environmental charge amounting to P0.0025 per kWh remains suspended.

Meralco reiterated that pass-through charges that contribute to the bulk of the charges, such as generation and transmission, go to the power suppliers and the system operator, not to them. – Rappler.com

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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.