by Lenie Lectura – February 15, 2016
from Business Mirror
THE Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) continued to post growth in power sales last month, following a 5.4-percent increase registered in 2015 as against the previous year.
“Growth continues,” Meralco President Oscar Reyes said. “For January, it seems to be strong. I think, we are seeing a continuity in January, but I’d like to see what happens in February and March.”
Reyes said the growth is still attributed to the boom in real estate.
“There is still significant activity in real estate. They keep on building and, as the units get occupied, we energize them. This adds to our sales,” he said.
There are also growing foreign-exchange inflows from overseas Filipinos and from business-process outsourcing services that continue to fuel strong domestic consumption and, thus, translate to higher energy sales.
Last month Meralco Senior Vice President Alfredo Panlilio said the company’s sales growth in 2015 was mainly on account of stronger power demand across all market segments.
“The 2015 growth stood at 5.4 percent, equivalent to 36,615 gigawatt-hours [Gwh],” Panlilio said.
The growth is historically higher compared to the average growth over the past years, which has been a low of 3 percent.
The Meralco official added that growth was attributed to a stronger demand across all segments, particularly from its residential customers, “due to lower generation charges, low inflation, El Niño, which meant higher temperatures, stable supply and a lot of our customer programs.”
In 2014 the company’s sales volume grew by 3.2 percent to 35,160 GWh over 2013, due largely to the combined commercial and industrial volumes of Meralco and Clark Electric Distribution Corp.
Reyes said stronger sales would help achieve Meralco’s core-profit guidance of P18.5 billion for 2015. The number, if attained, is slightly higher than the company’s P18.1-billion actual core net income in 2014. For 2016, growth in power sales is expected to revert to the 3-percent level.