HIGHER power generation charge led to an increase of P0.5738 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in the February electricity rate, bringing overall rate for a typical household to P11.9168 per kWh this month from P11.3430 per kWh in January.
For residential customers of the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) consuming 200 kWh, the adjustment is equivalent to an increase of around P115 in their total electricity bill.
Meralco said Thursday that generation charge went up by P0.4552 to P7.1020 per kWh from P6.6468 per kWh last month, primarily due to higher cost of power from Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and Power Supply Agreements (PSA).
Charges from IPPs increased by P1.4764 per kWh due to higher fuel costs mainly resulting from the increased use of imported liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Charges from PSAs inched up by P0.1558 per kWh due to higher charges from Emergency PSAs (EPSA) and peso depreciation, which affected around 11 percent of PSA costs that were dollar-denominated. Mitigating a further increase was higher excess energy deliveries from some PSAs, which were priced at a discount.
IPPs and PSAs accounted for 32.8 percent and 46.8 percent, respectively, of Meralco’s total energy requirement in the last supply month.
The increases in IPP and PSA charges were tempered by the P0.4071 per kWh decrease in charges from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) due to improved supply situation in the Luzon grid. Average demand and average capacity on outage were lower by about 502 MW and 101 MW, respectively, for the January supply month.
Meralco sourced 20.4 percent of its total energy requirement from the WESM during the period.
Transmission and other charges, meanwhile, registered a net increase of 0.1186 per kWh.
This already reflected the collection resumption of the P0.0364 per kWh Feed-In Tariff Allowance (FIT-All) starting this February billing month as ordered by the Energy Regulatory Commission.
Meralco pays pass-through charges for generation and transmission to the power suppliers and the grid operator, respectively, while taxes, universal charges, and FIT-All are all remitted to the government.
Meralco’s distribution charge, on the other hand, has not moved since the P0.0360 per kWh reduction for a typical residential customer beginning August 2022.
In preparation for the summer months, Meralco has called on large power consumers to enroll in the government’s Interruptible Load Program (ILP).
The ILP is an energy demand-side management program through which large-load customers are asked to use their generator sets or shift their operations, instead of drawing power from the grid, to spare households from power interruptions during instances of red alert or when supply is insufficient to meet the demand.
At present, there are 103 companies with 528-megawatt de-loading capacity across the Meralco franchise areas that are enrolled in the ILP. Since it was first implemented in 2014, the ILP has spared as many as 1.8 million households from power interruptions in the Meralco franchise area.
“We are banking on the support of large load consumers within the Meralco franchise area to embody the spirit of bayanihan and join the ILP. As we have experienced in the past, the program has been beneficial in ensuring continuity of service even when supply is tight,” Meralco Vice President and Head of Corporate Communications Joe Zaldarriaga said.