Meralco announces higher electricity rates in July

by Maricel Burgonio – July 5, 2016

from Manila Bulletin

Electricity rates went up in July after reductions in the past two months mainly due to higher generation charges after the frequent plant outages in June, the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) said Tuesday.

In a statement, the Meralco said that the rate for its residential customers in July increased by  P0.29 per kilowatt hour (kWh).

For a typical household consuming 200 kWh, it will experience an increase of around P58 in their electricity bill this month.

Meralco said the increase in the rates was primarily due to the generation charge, which increased by P0.34 per kWh from last month’s level of P3.72 per kWh, which was the lowest since October 2004.

This was primarily due to the higher charges from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), which went up by P4.49 per kWh, citing higher generation capacity on plant outages during the June supply month, resulting in five instances of yellow alerts in June (June 13, 14, 17, 21, and 22).

Several power plants went on outage in June.   Those that went on scheduled outage were Pagbilao-2, San Lorenzo Mod 50 and 60, Sta. Rita Mod 40, and iPower. Meanwhile, those that went on forced outage include Sual-1, San Gabriel, Calaca 1 and 2, GN Power 1 and 2, Limay A and B, Sta. Rita Mod 10 and 30, SLPGC 1, SLTEC 1 and 2, San Roque 2, Pagbilao 1, and Ambuklao 2.

In contrast, the Luzon Grid did not experience any Yellow or Red Alert in May, when peak demand reached a record high 9,727 MW.

Due to the increased incidence of plant outages, too, Malaya 2 was dispatched for around half of the June supply month, when peak demand in Luzon dropped to 9,260 MW. The Malaya plants are “Must Run Units” and are typically instructed by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) to be dispatched when reserve levels in the grid are very low.