By Myrna Velasco
As other costs of goods and services threaten to be on an uptrend due to the newly-enforced tax charges, the heads of households can heave a sigh of relief as the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) announced a drop in its power rates by P0.5260 per kilowatt hour (kWh) as reflected in its January billing.
The utility firm said its overall rate will then be cut to P8.7227 per kWh average from the previous billing cycle’s P9.2487 per kWh.
For typical households in the 200-kilowatt hour consumption bracket, Meralco noted that “the rate decrease amounts to around P105 reduction in the total bill.”
The power utility firm explained that “the lower January rate is mainly due to a P0.5277 per kWh reduction in the generation charge.” Meralco said this is “the second consecutive month of a decrease in overall electricity rates.”
The two-month stretch of cost reductions, Meralco said, totaled up to P0.9045per kWh, to the financial relief of consumers.
That partly offset the P0.1168 per kWh hike in the ancillary services component charge of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines. Taxes and other charges, on the other hand, had also been lower by P0.1151 per kWh this month.
On the whole, it was emphasized that the generation charge softened to P4.0768 per kWh in this billing month compared to the previous rate of P4.6045 per kWh, mainly due to Meralco’s procurement via its power supply agreements (PSAs) and the lower prices of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market.
It expounded that “charges from PSAs registered a decrease of P0.9810 per kWh,” primarily due to the reduction in capacity fees “as a result of the annual reconciliation of outage allowances done at the end of each year under the PSAs.”
Meralco said “the reduction in capacity fees of generator-companies represents savings immediately passed on to consumers by way of lower electricity rates.”
Additionally, charges from the WESM had been down by P1.6943 per kWh “due to lower spot prices resulting from a reduction in power demand in the Luzon grid.”
On Meralco’s supply from contracted independent power producers (IPPs), the situation was reversed because their charges had been up by P0.3808 per kWh “due to lower average plant dispatch.”
The utility firm’s supply portfolio in the January billing comprised of 41-percent IPP-sourced power, 19-percent from the WESM; and the balance from its PSAs with private generators.
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