By Myrna M. Velasco
Customers of Manila Electric Company (Meralco) will have to brace for P0.5682 per kilowatt hour (kwh) increase in their electric bills this month due to higher cost of power supply procurements.
For end-users within the base of 200kwh consumption, the overall upward adjustment in their bills will be at the scale of P114 in this current billing cycle.
Factoring in all cost components, the overall tariff to be billed by Meralco this February will be at P10.4067 per kWh from the previous billing month’s P9.8385 per kwh.
Meralco noted that its generation charge in particular had climbed by P0.9820 per kwh to P5.8939 per kwh from the January level of P4.9119 per kwh.
“The generation charge increase is primarily due to higher charges from plants under power supply agreements and Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM),” the utility firm said.
On the other cost components, the transmission charge as well as taxes and other charges had been down by P0.4138 per kwh this month.
For supply purchases underpinned by PSAs, Meralco explained that capacity fees had been back to ‘normal levels’ this month – as based on contract approvals granted by the Energy Regulatory Commission.
Additionally, it has been indicated that charges from the WESM had been higher by P1.4141 per kWh “due to tighter supply conditions in Luzon as several large power plants went on scheduled maintenance outage last month.”
On Meralco’s procurement of supply from contracted independent power producers (IPPs), these had softened by a very marginal P0.0042 per kWh “due to the strengthening of the peso against the US dollar.”
The utility firm expounded that roughly 96-percent of the IPP charges are dollar-denominated – since the entry of these generating facilities had been at the peak of the power crisis in the 1990s.
On the share of supply, the utility firm secured 18-percent of its demand from the WESM; 45-percent from the IPPs and the balance of 37-percent had been from its PSAs with private generation companies.