by Myrna Velasco – December 20, 2015
from Manila Bulletin
Demand hike will likely prop up further the profitability of power utility giant Manila Electric Company (Meralco) as it keeps eye on the goal of logging 5.4-percent electricity sales growth on a full-year basis this 2015.
In an interview with reporters, Meralco President Oscar S. Reyes has noted that the combined impact of almost nil inflationary adjustment and warmer temperature had driven up power demand in the last quarter.
He stressed that in November alone, their sales growth had been at a record high of 8.4-percent; while October had also been at more than 8.0-percent.
“November growth has been high at 8.4% compared to November last year. October and November have been high…those two months have been record high,” Reyes stressed.
Overall, he noted that the utility firm’s sales growth already reached remarkable 5.3-percent average as of end-November; and that is anticipated shored up to 5.4-percent until yearend.
“First, there’s the fact of very low inflation; secondly, warmer temperatures; and third, the fact that the banking system and the market had been very liquid,” he explained as to the growth drivers in their franchise area’s power demand expansion.
Reyes added “there have been a lot of money that enabled the construction of vertical and horizontal housing units as well as office buildings….add to that, which is very important, the power rates have been very low.”
He further cited that in the past, there had been pent-up demand in housing due to the consumers’ difficult access to credit facilities, but now that the developers have been undertaking lending themselves, it had been easier for buyers to decide on purchasing units.
“So both residential and the fact that BPOs (business process outsourcing) have been booming – they created demand for office spaces,” the Meralco executive said.
The two weather events (tropical storm Nona and Onyok) distressing the country close to the Christmas season though had been seen by Meralco as a “dampening factor’ to their energy sales for December.