Meralco cuts power rates anew

Utility giant Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) announced that power rates had declined in August, marking its fifth consecutive month of lower electricity rates.

The decline was a result of lower generation charges of P4.12 per kilowatt hour compared to P4.33 in July.

A typical household consuming 200-kilowatt hours will see a reduction of P0.2055 per kWh or a total of P41 this month, the lowest in the past three years.

Meanwhile, Bayan Muna and Matuwid na Singil sa Kuryente Consumer Alliance Inc. (MSK) have asked the Department of Energy to look into “significant discrepancies” in Meralco’s declared energy purchases and sales from 2011 to 2019.

“These discrepancies can mean several things but the bottom line would be that the consumers are being overcharged more than they should be in the billions of pesos per year in the last nine years,” the groups said in a statement.

MSK said the most glaring detail was the declared purchase of 46.871 billion kilowatt hours of power, but actually only bought 33.585 kWh for 2019. This alone meant a discrepancy of P66.173 billion in value for one year.

“The pattern of Meralco declaring higher energy sales than what they actually purchased started in 2011 when the over-declaration started at 2.419 billion kwh. It grew over the years reaching 5.6191 Billion kwh in 2014, and now an astounding 13.565 billion kWh in 2019 worth P66.173 billion,” the groups added.

“The consumer group expects that a validation of all these numbers can lead to the correction of the distribution charges of Meralco to the residential and commercial customers,” they added.

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