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Meralco announces higher electricity rate in June

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The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) announced today an upward adjustment of P0.6436 per kWh in the electricity rate this June, bringing the overall rate for a typical household to P12.0575 per kWh from the previous month’s P11.4139 per kWh.

For residential customers consuming 200 kWh, the adjustment is equivalent to an increase of around P129 in their total electricity bill.

Higher generation charge

Driving this month’s overall rate increase is the generation charge which went up by P0.3466 per kWh mainly due to higher costs from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).

“The increase in the generation charge this month would have been higher but Meralco took the initiative to cushion the impact of the higher pass-through costs to our customers with the help from some of our suppliers which deferred the collection of portions of their generation costs,” Meralco Senior Vice President and Head of Regulatory Management Office Atty. Jose Ronald V. Valles said.

Meralco, along with Quezon Power (Philippines) Ltd., San Buenaventura Power Ltd. Co. (SBPL), and South Premiere Power Corporation (SPPC), deferred the collection of around P500 million in generation costs, pulling down this month’s generation charge by P0.1313 per kWh. This will instead be billed on a staggered basis over the next three months, as cleared by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

“We are still waiting for regulatory approval of our 400-MW interim power supply agreement (PSA) with Limay Power, Inc. which could significantly reduce our WESM exposure and generation costs,” Valles added.

For this month’s billing, WESM charges were higher by P1.5203 per kWh due to tight supply conditions in May as average demand went up by more than 1,200 MW. The Luzon Grid was on Yellow Alert for 12 days and was on Red Alert last May 23. In addition, the persistently high spot market prices triggered the imposition of the secondary price cap 19% of the time.

Charges from Independent Power Producers (IPPs) also increased by P0.0224 per kWh, net of deferred generation costs, due to lower average IPP dispatch and Peso depreciation affecting around 98% of IPP costs that were dollar-denominated.

Tempering the increase in the generation charge is the P0.2988 per kWh decrease in charges from PSAs following deferral of portion of generation costs and lower fuel costs of SPPC covered by its 2024 emergency PSA and SBPL.

WESM, IPPs, and PSAs accounted for 33%, 29%, and 38% of Meralco’s total energy requirement for the period.

Transmission and other charges

Transmission charge for residential customers increased by P0.1450 per kWh due to higher ancillary service charges following the partial settlement of the 30% of the total reserve trading amount of all WESM trading transactions during the March 2024 supply period, as ordered by the ERC.

In addition, the ERC also approved the implementation of a new Feed-in Tariff Allowance (FIT-All) rate of P0.0838 per kWh starting June 2024, from previous rate of P0.0364—or an increase of P0.0474 per kWh.

Taxes and other charges also registered a P0.1046 per kWh net increase.

Pass-through charges for generation and transmission are paid to the power suppliers and the grid operator, respectively, while taxes, universal charges, and FIT-All are all remitted to the government.

Meralco’s distribution charge, on the other hand, has not moved since the P0.0360 per kWh reduction for a typical residential customer in August 2022.

Meralco warns against electric meter theft, kite-flying near power lines

Following reports of stolen meters and electrical wires being sold in various online platforms, Meralco sounded the alarm over the rising number of electric meter theft incidents.

In 2023, Meralco recorded 1,596 electric meters stolen—equivalent to a 65% increase from the 969 stolen meters in 2022. Latest data for 2024 showed that from January to May, 865 electric meters have been reported stolen.

Under Republic Act No. 7832 or the Anti-Electricity and Electric Transmission Lines/Materials Pilferage Act of 1994, anyone caught in possession of stolen electric meters can be meted with the penalty of at least 12 years imprisonment and/or a fine ranging from P50,000 to P100,000.

“Stealing electric meters and buying stolen meters are crimes punishable under the law. Anyone caught in possession of these stolen equipment will be prosecuted and penalized accordingly. We remind the public that these electric meters are the property of Meralco, and we do not charge our customers for its use,” Meralco Vice President and Head of Corporate Communications Joe R. Zaldarriaga said.

In the interest of public safety, Meralco also reiterated its reminder to customers to refrain from flying kites near power lines as this can lead to power interruptions or accidents.

“We appeal to the public to avoid flying kites near our facilities to avoid power interruptions and accidents,” Zaldarriaga said.

In May alone, incidents of power interruptions due to kite-flying nearly doubled to 60 from the 32 recorded in the same month last year.

From January to May this year, a total of 115 incidents of power interruption were reported due to kite-flying—a significant increase from the 78 incidents recorded in the first five months in 2023.

Should kites get tangled or stuck in power lines, Zaldarriaga asked the public to report these incidents to Meralco instead of trying to retrieve the items themselves.

Customers can report power outages and other concerns through Meralco’s official social media accounts on Facebook (www.facebook.com/meralco) and X formerly Twitter (@meralco). They may also text their concerns to 0920-9716211 or 0917-5516211 or contact the Meralco Hotline at 16211 and 8631-1111.

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