by Myrna Velasco – February 5, 2016
from Manila Bulletin
After series of downtrends in the past months, the overall rate billed by Manila Electric Company (Meralco) this February had been up by P0.42 per kilowatt-hour (Kwh).
In the common base of 200-kilowatt- hour consumption for households, the overall rate increase in the billings would be P85, according to the utility firm.
The company mainly attributed the upward adjustment in the electric bills to hike in generation cost as well as in other charges, such as the ancillary services component of the transmission charge and the taxes.
“The increase in overall rates was primarily due to the generation charge which increased by P0.25 per kwh from last month,” Meralco said.
Compared to the same month last year though, Meralco has indicated that the February billed generation charge is still lower by P1.07 per kwh to P4.17 per kwh from P5.24 per kwh a year ago.
For the charge passed on by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), Meralco emphasized that it climbed by P0.08 per kwh “due to higher ancillary charges.”
Taxes also incurred cost uptrend of P0.05 per kwh; while other charges in the bill had been up by P0.04 per kwh.
On the generation charges in particular, Meralco noted that cost procurement from its power supply agreements (PSAs) escalated by P0.76 per kwh.
“Cost of purchases from PSAs, which were low last month due to adjustments from an annual reconciliation of outage allowances, normalized this month,” the utility firm has explained.
It further stressed that the lower plant capacity factors also partly triggered the upward adjustments, “due to the scheduled maintenance shutdown of one unit each of the Calaca and Masinloc power plants.”
Meralco has emphasized that while there have been sizeable reduction of P2.21 per kwh in the charges of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), it had not been able to offset the cost hike in purchases from other power suppliers.
The biggest source of Meralco’s supply had been with its contracted IPPs for a share of 47.2-percent; the PSAs came next with 46.7-percent share; while its WESM purchases had been tempered to 6.1-percent.