Electricity sales in areas where the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) is assigned to distribute power likely improved in September compared to the previous month due to rising demand.
However, Meralco said it has yet to release third-quarter electricity sales as the numbers are still being validated. “We have yet to determine the exact number, but indication is that September 2020 electricity sales is significantly better than that of August 2020, and it’s very near September 2019 sales numbers,” Meralco First Vice President and head of Customer Retail Services Ferdinand Geluz said in an interview.
Still, power sales from July to September this year ended lower compared to the same period last year. In the third quarter of 2019, Meralco’s sales volume grew by 6.3 percent to 35,005 gigawatt hours (GWh).
Geluz said third-quarter sales numbers this year would not outpace what Meralco recorded in the July-to-September period last year. “Third quarter this year is still lower compared to third quarter last year because July and August sales this year are significantly lower compared to 2019 figures.”
From a peak of only 5,453 megawatts (MW) in April, demand has risen to 6,428MW in May and 7,051 MW in June, both due to warmer weather and increased economic activity. However, this is still lower than the peak of 7,584MW registered in March, right before the imposition of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). In July, Luzon peak demand shot up to 10,595MW then slightly declined to 10,422MW in August.
Meralco sold 21,139GWh of electricity in the first six months of the year, seven percent lower than in 2019. The community quarantine affected Meralco’s sales mix consumption as it shifted to higher loss-to-serve residential customers. At end-June, Meralco’s customer base grew to nearly seven million, with residential, commercial and industrial segments growing at 3 percent, 2 percent, and 1 percent, respectively.
“Covid-19 has disrupted and adversely affected industries, employment, operating procedures and our way of life. The pain brought about by the pandemic is expected to be felt for quite some time,” said Meralco President Ray Espinosa.
Meralco serves Metro Manila, where it is the sole electricity distributor, as well as some nearby provinces, like Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon.
So it looks like consumption by more people in WFH mode edges out consumption of companies at reduce (or no) capacity. Regardless, we need improvements in power generation like new plants to replace decafes-old ones as well as efficient PSAs