Meralco to re-forecast energy sales growth

by Myrna Velasco – June 5, 2016

from Manila Bulletin

Power utility giant Manila Electric Company (Meralco) will re-adjust forecast on its energy sales growth for the year given the changing weather patterns and the emergence of “new drivers” on possible expansion of energy consumption.

The re-forecasting of its load’s supply-demand profile will likely happen within the third quarter, according to company executives, albeit they all anticipate tapering off from the 12.1-percent sales growth logged from January to April this 2016.

Meralco president and chief executive officer Oscar S. Reyes has noted that their sales growth in the first 3-4 months had been “relatively good,” with brisk sales generally attributed to rising temperatures and increasing customer connections.

For the rest of the second half of the year though, he indicated that weather-related demand may be tempered because of the very early start of the rainy season.

“We’ve had good 3-4 months. We would expect we will not see the same growth in terms of peak demand, in terms of energy sales in the first four months,” the Meralco chief executive has noted.

He added their “tamed” expectations on energy sales may also have impact both on their overall revenues and eventual net income, but the utility firm is still hopeful of other “growth drivers” that will reinforce demand the rest of the year.

Reyes said, “it’s too early to say how much the impact of weather would be. One thing is: We will not see the same level of growth as in the first quarter.”

But Meralco senior vice president Alfredo S. Panlilio is a bit more on the optimistic side, with him noting that “customer growth will continue to be strong,” at least hovering at the level of 3.9-percent.

“There might be an impact on sales because of temperature, but it’s too early to say what it will end up by year-end. Surely lower, but hopefully not too low because of the economy – in the commercial sector, there are new hotels coming up, new cement plant (i.e. Eagle Cement) that has been put into stream. There are also new businesses coming up, like Tiger Resorts, in the fourth quarter,” he said.

Panlilio further qualified that “there are a lot of new customers coming in – big and small – that might still push growth.”