By Alena Mae S. Flores – March 29, 2020 at 09:40 pm
Power retailer Manila Electric Co. said it saw a huge drop in demand from commercial and industrial consumers during the enhanced community quarantine period in Luzon.
Meralco first vice president and head of customer retail services and corporate communications Victor Emmanuel Genuino said that while the company was still finalizing the numbers, “we see a big decline in demand particularly from the commercial and industrial sectors since the start of the quarantine period.”
Genuino said that as Filipinos stay home during the quarantine period, it would be “hard for residential [sector] to cover the drop in demand of industrial and commercial customers.”
Meralco, the country’s biggest power distributor, has more than six million customers in its franchise area.
The Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines, operator of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market, the country’s trading floor of electricity, earlier reported that power demand in Luzon from March 15 to 21 substantially dropped to 7,252 megawatts from 9,198 MW during the week of March 8 to 14, representing a reduction of about 21.2 percent (1,946 MW).
IEMOP said that as a result, the average prices at spot market plunged by almost 40 percent in the first week of the quarantine period.
The actual average prices dropped to P1.64 per kilowatt-hour in the first week of the ECQ (March 15 to 21) from P2.71 per kWh in the week of March 8 to 14.
“This represents a 52.5 percent reduction in average price for the week,” IEMOP said.
IEMOP said the WESM average market price also declined to P2.71 per kWh from the forecasted average price of P3.85 per kWh, representing a reduction of 29.5 percent amid the ample supply margin as a result of the reduced demand.