by Myrna Velasco – September 18, 2016
from Manila Bulletin
Even with shifting weather patterns, power utility giant Manila Electric Company (Meralco) has indicated that it is keeping unchanged its energy sales growth forecast at 6.0 percent for this year.
In an interview with reporters, Meralco President Oscar S. Reyes stressed that “for now, we’re holding” when asked if the utility firm will go ahead with earlier plans to re-adjust its energy sales projections.
He noted that they still see an “expanding customer base and then the commercial sector seems to continue to be busy.”
Reyes expounded that both “horizontal and vertical developments” have been expanding – primarily that of the real estate business. Fundamentally, that had been one of the factors anticipated to further fuel energy demand.
The Meralco executive emphasized though that sales on the remaining duration of the year may not be as robust as the initial six months, especially with the weather already cooling down.
“It will not be as strong as the first half especially during the summer months because the effect of the temperature will no longer be there,” Reyes said.
Notably, sales growth in some months this year escalated to double-digit levels, hitting the record level of 12.10 percent. For the entire first half, the average was logged at 11.0 percent.
The residential sector had been the “star performer” from January to June with registered growth of 17 percent; while the commercial sector similarly flourished with sales growth of 11.0 percent.
Meralco pointed out “record lows in inflation and in retail power rates provided a significant relief to household income, thereby, increasing domestic consumption.”
Cited as main driver had been the real estate sector, in addition to brisk activities in retail trade as well as in hotels and restaurants.