Meralco’s 4.9% growth in full-year 2017 sales higher than expected

THE Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) registered a 4.9-percent growth in full-year sales in 2017, slightly higher than what it had expected.

Meralco President Oscar Reyes confirmed the figure.

“It was 4.9 percent against a high base of roughly 8.1 percent [in the previous] year.”

Meralco earlier expected to post 4.5 percent in sales growth in 2017.

The utility firm has yet to release its 2017 financial performance, which includes sales volume. At end-September 2017, Meralco’s sales volume grew 4.3 percent to 31,401 gigawatt hours (gwh).

In 2016 Meralco’s energy sales went up 8.1 percent to 40,142 gwh, mainly brought about by the El Niño phenomenon and election-related activities.

Reyes said despite coming from a high base in 2016, energy sales continued to post a significant growth in 2017, more particularly during the third quarter.

“All the sectors have been showing hefty growth. Surprisingly, industrial has shown significant growth and so with commercial. All of them, on average around 4.5 percent,” Reyes said.

Sales in October last year, he added, grew at about 7 percent year-on-year.

“It’s been a slow start in the first three months due to cooler temperature, but sales have increased since then,” Reyes noted.

For the summer months of 2018, the utility firm has sufficient capacity.

“We have the installed capacity to meet the summer demand. It’s a question of there being no confluence of scheduled and forced outages, or any Malampaya shutdown,” Reyes added.

Earlier, Reyes said 2018 energy sales is anticipated to grow by 3.5 percent year-on-year.

“For 2018, we see a growth of 3.5 percent, year-on-year as we see an increase in energy efficiency that will impact on demand,” he added.

The Meralco official explained that consumers across all sectors continue to practice energy-efficiency initiatives to help manage their electricity consumption. Also, Reyes noted an increasing adoption of solar rooftops.

“Energy-saving tips, shift to solar rooftops, possible adoption of e-vehicles…are the things that will impact on demand and consequently consumers are able to save,” the Meralco official explained.

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Turning Points 2018