THE Manila Electric Company (Meralco) is expecting power rates to go down this month brought about by steady supply and lower demand.
“Initial indications show a possibility of lower generation charge this coming December. We observed an improved supply situation due to lower demand and fewer plant outages, which are expected to bring down prices in the WESM (Wholesale Electricity Spot Market),” said Meralco spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga.
Meralco is expected to announce December power rates in a few days.
WESM is a centralized venue for buyers and sellers to trade electricity as a commodity where prices are determined based on demand and supply. It was created pursuant to Republic Act 9136, also known as the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001.
The WESM began commercial operations in Luzon in June 2006 in the Visayas in December 2010; and recently in Mindanao.
Last month, Meralco rates increased by P0.2347 per kilowatt hour (kWh) from October’s rate of P11.8198 per kWh. The upward adjustment was traced to higher transmission charge, which went up by P0.211 per kWh for residential customers, due to higher ancillary service charges.
To better manage their electricity consumption, Meralco reminded the public to continue practicing energy efficiency.
Some energy saving tips that customers can practice includes unplugging appliances when not in use, regular cleaning of air conditioner filters to optimize its use and using LED bulbs for cost-saving lighting.
Meralco customers can also have better control of their monthly electricity bills with the help of the Meralco mobile app appliance calculator that provides information on the energy consumption of appliances and gadgets.
Call for ‘sobriety’
The Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI), meanwhile, expressed its full support to Meralco which has recently caught the ire of some lawmakers.
FPI Chairman Jesus Arranza, in a statement, called on all those attempting to disparage Meralco to put a stop to what he called as a very counter productive act. “The Federation laments this vicious attack against one of its members. This is not only counterproductive but against the principles of what we stand for, stability in the business environment,” he said.
Early this month several House members headed by Sta. Rosa Rep. Dan Fernandez waged a scathing attack against Meralco citing alleged violations primarily in its Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC).
“If the issue is WACC shouldn’t it be that the issue must be dealt with by the Energy Regulatory Commission since the rate setting function under the law is their responsibility and duty? Perhaps it is time to have a more sober discussion on this matter. We do not need moves that rattle business confidence especially in these very difficult times where industries and businesses need a stable environment,” Arranza said.