Generation charge seen flat this month

by Myrna Velasco – June 2, 2016

from Manila Bulletin

Customers of Manila Electric Company (Meralco) will not be as jittery this June, as the generation charge component in their bills is expected to be ‘relatively flat.’

According to Meralco spokesperson Joe Zadarriaga, the stability in prices for this billing month could be driven both by ‘soft prices’ in

the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) and lower gas prices.

“Generation charge for June is expected to be flat. Factors likely to drive the final figure are the lower average WESM prices and indications of lower natural gas price for the May supply month,” he expounded.

Zaldarriaga has qualified though that they are still waiting for the actual bills from their various power suppliers.

He added that “higher dispatch of many large power plants” will also help tame prices within this billing month.

The generation charge component in electricity rates accounts for the biggest percentage – hovering at 65-percent to 70-percent of the total billed rate on a per-kilowatt hour (kWh) basis.

For this year, the summer months passed without hitting much on the consumers’ pockets because even in the months of scorching weather, the power rates have been on downtrend.

And with the rainy season already kicking off, rates are expected not to be as volatile compared to summer months when consumption is typically on uptick.

Power plants are anticipated to be on maintenance shutdown on the coming months, but higher hydro availability could help offset some capacities taken out from the system.

Many power plant owners and operators opted to defer the scheduled downtime of their generating facilities because of the election season last May.