by Lenie Lectura – February 6, 2016
from Business Mirror
CONSUMERS should brace for higher electricity rates as summer approaches.
This after the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) on Friday announced that electricity bill for this month will go up by P0.42 per kilowatt- hour (kWh) to P8.82 per kwh compared to last month’s overall rates.
“Customers can expect even higher rates in coming months,” Meralco said in a statement.
It said that based on historical data, consumption and consequently overall demand for power spike as temperature rises. Thiscould be more evident, especially that the country is experiencing El Niño.
For a typical household consuming 200 kWh, the P0.42 per kWh rate hike translates to an additional amount of around P85 to the overall electricity bill.
Meralco blamed the increase in the overall rates to higher generation charge, which increased by P0.25 per kWh to P4.17 per kWh from last month.
Generation charge is the largest component of an electric bill, and is a pass-through charge similar to transmission charge. Payment for the generation charge goes to the power suppliers, while payment for the transmission charge goes to the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines.
Meralco explained that power plants under the Power Supply Agreements (PSAs) registered an increase of 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.
Also contributing to the increase in PSA charges are their lower plant capacity factors, partly due to the scheduled maintenance shutdown of one unit each of the Calaca and Masinloc power plants.
This increase in the PSA charges more than offset the reduction in charges from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) and Independent Power Producers (IPPs).
Charges from the WESM registered a reduction of P2.21 per kWh, largely due to lower system demand.
The average rate of the IPPs also slightly went down by P0.01 per kWh. The average price of natural gas for the First Gas plants went down, following thequarterly repricing of Malampaya natural gas. However, the lower fuel costs were offset by reduced dispatch levels of the IPPs.
The share of IPPs, PSAs and WESM to Meralco’s total power requirements stood at 47.2 percent, 46.7 percent and 6.1 percent, respectively. Transmission charge, meanwhile, went up by P0.08 per kWh due to higher ancillary charges.
Following the increase in generation and transmission charges, taxes also increased by P0.05 per kWh. Other charges, likewise, increased by P0.04 per kWh.
Meralco’s distribution, supply and metering charges remain unchanged after it registered a reduction last July. As summer approaches, Meralco reminded the public to observe energy efficiency tips. This includes setting the air conditioner’s thermostat from high cool (18 degrees Celsius) to mid cool (25 °C). By doing so,customers may save up to P354 per month.
Electric fans should also be regularly cleaned from dust accumulation on the fan blades and motor housing. This saves around 5 percent in electricity costs.
Likewise, adjusting fan settings to low speed can save up to 17 percent, Meralco said.