Electricity bills set to rise in January

Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) customers will experience a slight upward adjustment in their January billing due to higher generation charge.

This is also partly due to the decision of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to allow Meralco to recover its under collected generation charge from 2017 to 2019.

In a statement, Meralco said the overall rate for a typical household for the month of January increased by P0.2744 per kWh to P8.7497 per kWh.

This is equivalent to an increase of around P55 in the total bill of residential customers consuming 200 kWh.

Mitigating this month’s rate increase is the inclusion of ERC-approved adjustments for Meralco’s pass-through over/under-recoveries for the period January 2017 to December 2019.

In a recent order, ERC directed Meralco to return P1.4 billion over collected from customers from 2017 to 2019 due to excess charges, but at the same time, the regulatory agency also allowed the power distributor to recover P2.38 billion from the under collection of its generation charge during the period.

The initial impact of this order to residential customers is a net refund of around P0.1150 per kWh, said Meralco.

Unfortunately for customers, the generation charge for this month went up to P4.4574 per kWh, which is P0.3058 higher than December’s generation charge of P4.1516 per kWh.

Power supply agreements (PSA) and Independent Power Producers (IPP) rates likewise increased by P0.2723 and P0.2428 per kWh, respectively, as Luzon peak demand in December decreased by 252 MW, from 9,886 MW to 9,634 MW due to cooler temperature and more non-working holidays compared to November.

Similarly, the demand for power in Meralco’s franchise fell to its lowest level in December since lifting of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in May.

Meanwhile, IPP rate decreased by P0.6135 per kWh.

PSAs, IPPs, and WESM provided 56.4 percent, 37.3 percent, and 6.3 percent of Meralco’s energy requirements, respectively.

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