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Merrier Christmas for Meralco consumers as power rates down by Php0.0352/kWh

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Manila Electric Company (Meralco) customers will enjoy lower power rate this December as Luzon grid’s power supply condition improved in November (Photo by NCB/THEPHILBIZNEWS)

By Alithea De Jesus

Metro Manila residents can expect a cut in their power bills this month of December, after a cut in overall rates due to lower demand in the Luzon grid.

Meralco announced today the customers can expect another downward adjustment of power rates as the overall rate for a typical household decreased by P0.0352 per kWh, from last month’s P8.5105 per kWh to P8.4753 per kWh this December.

This is equivalent to a decrease of around P7 in the total bill of residential customers consuming 200 kWh. This month’s overall rate is also a net rate reduction of P1.3870 per kWh, equivalent to bill reduction of
more than P277 for a 200 kWh household, since the start of the year, the second-lowest overall power rate in more than three years, or since September 2017.

The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) announces a Php0.0352 per kilowatt-hour reduction in its generation charge for December. In a virtual press briefing, Joe R. Zaldarriaga, Meralco Vice President for Corporate Communications and Spokesperson, says the latest round of rate cut brings Meralco’s average retail rate to Php8.4753/kWh or Php1.3870/kWh lower compared to the previous year and is also the second-lowest since 2017. The reduction was attributed to the decrease in generation rates of its contracted suppliers and from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM)and transmission rates of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).

Lower Generation Charge brought about by lower Luzon grid demand

The generation charge decreased by P0.0502 per kWh to P4.1516 per kWh this December From P4.2018 per kWh in November. All sources of supply registered lower charges this month.

Meralco said there was a P0.1881 per kWh reduction in charges from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM). The Luzon grid’s power supply situation improved in November following a drop in demand which decreased due to successive weather disturbances. From October 2020’s peak demand of 10,344 MW, November 2020 peak demand decreased to 9,886 MW.

Apart from that, the effects of Typhoon Ulysses, the WESM was suspended by ERC from November 12 to 13, 2020, and the cost of power from the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) also decreased by P0.2577 per kWh due to improved average plant dispatch and Peso appreciation. Charges from Power Supply Agreements (PSAs) also went down by P0.0214 per kWh with the strengthening of Peso against the US Dollar.

WESM, IPPs, and PSAs accounted for 9%, 39%, and 52% of MERALCO’s energy requirements, respectively.

The movements in other charges

transmission charge for residential customers registered a slight reduction of P0.0044 per kWh due to lower Power Delivery and Ancillary Service Charges. Meanwhile, taxes, and other charges registered a net increase of P0.0194 per kWh.

Collection of the Universal Charge-Environmental Charge amounting to P0.0025 per kWh remains suspended, as directed by the ERC.

MERALCO’s distribution, supply, and metering charges, meanwhile, have remained unchanged for 65 months, after these registered reductions in July 2015. MERALCO reiterated that it does not earn from the pass-through charges, such as the generation and transmission charges. Payment for the generation charge goes to the power suppliers, while payment for the transmission charge goes to the NGCP. Taxes and other public policy charges like the Universal Charges and the FIT-All are remitted to the government.

MERALCO continues to serve during General Community Quarantine (GCQ)

While customers may visit their nearest Meralco Business Center, which will continue to open its doors during the GCQ, and accept service applications, payments, and other transactions. But strict safety measures continue to be implemented, like the “No Mask, No Entry” rule, Social Distancing and Temperature Check. Frontliners are available and ready but strictly follow Social Distancing guidelines. Visitors can rest assured that these frontliners have passed the rapid COVID-19 testing authorized by the Pasig City Health Office. There are also acrylic barriers set up in the Meralco branches to protect both the customer and the frontliner.

But, for maximum safety and convenience, Meralco still encourages customers to use Meralco Online to transact from the safety of their homes. Multiple options for transactions have also been offered by the
distribution utility, including the Meralco Mobile App via https://onelink.to/meralcomobile, Meralco Online via www.Meralco.com.ph, and the Meralco authorized payment channels at
bit.ly/MeralcoPaymentPartners. For more information and concerns, customers may visit MERALCO’s website at www.MERALCO.com.ph,
its social media accounts, Twitter @MERALCO and Facebook at www.facebook.com/MERALCO or may
also call the MERALCO Hotline at 16211.

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