Meralco reports 7-percent year-on-year jump on electricity sales volume in July

by Lenie LecturaAugust 23, 2016

from Business Mirror

THE Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) recorded a growth in electricity sales last month compared to the same period a year ago, mainly on account of a continued strong demand.

“For the whole month of July, there was a 7-percent growth year-on- year,” Meralco President Oscar Reyes  said in an interview.

For August, “we still have yet to compute, but we hope growth will continue.” Meralco’s total electricity sales volume at end-June this year grew by 11 percent year-on-year to 19,717 gigawatt-hour (GWh), with record peak demand at 6,748 megawatt (MW).

The highest-ever single-month consolidated sales volume was recorded in June at 3,627 GWh.

Reyes said temperature during the first half of the year was one of the main growth drivers, noting that it “was higher compared to the previous two years.”

The overall increase in electricity sales volume of 11 percent helped mitigate the effect of the 9-percent decline in average Meralco distribution rate; and lower first half 2016 contribution from certain subsidiaries due in part to seasonal factors affecting their businesses.

The utility firm recorded lower earnings in the first half of the year to P10.768 billion, from P11.747 billion. Meralco CFO Betty Siy-Yap said there was an absence of a one-time gain approved by the regulators in June last year.

“Last year we had a regulatory approval of the GRAM [Generation Rate Adjustment Mechanism], which provided an income. There was a one-off item in 2015, which was not seen this year,” she said.

Meralco’s revenues also dipped to P128.8 billion at end-June mainly on the account of lower distribution rate after the completion of the third regulatory period in June last year continued its decline  in pass-through charges, and higher availability of the company’s contracted power plants.

The distribution rate of Meralco for the first half of 2016 was at an average of P1.44 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) compared with P1.59 per kWh for the same period in 2015.

The company anticipates a single-digit volume growth in the second half of 2016  “at circa 8 percent  to 10 percent, absent destructive weather disturbances.”