Meralco: Gen charge falls to P5.54 per kwh in February

from a report by Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 03 2014 04:10 PM | Updated as of Feb 04 2014 05:03 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Manila Electric Company (Meralco) on Monday said its generation charge for February fell, after the Malampaya gas field and several power plants came back on stream.

Meralco said the generation charge it will pass on to customers in their February billing will be P5.54 per kilowatt hour. This is 13 centavos lower than the P5.67 per kwh imposed by the utility in January.

The reduction does not yet include lower taxes and system loss charges which are still being computed as of press time.

For consumers using 101 kwh, the reduction in gen charge translates to a P13.27 cut in their bills. For those using 200 kwh, the reduction is P26; 300kwh- P39; 400kwh - P39; and 500kwh - P65.

But Meralco admitted consumers may still have to pay the spike in generation charges for December and January which was stopped by the Supreme Court. For December, the deferred amount is P4.15 per kwh while for January, it is P5.33 per kwh, or a total of P9.48 per kwh.

Meanwhile, Energy Regulatory Commission executive director Francis Juan said the previous unreflected increases in generation and other charges for December and January will still have to "hover in the heads" of consumers until the Supreme Court decides on the matter.

According to Juan, the Commission is also willing to lengthen the recovery period of the enormous spike in generation and other charges.

Asked if Meralco can just deduct the supposed reduction in the deferred under-recovery, Juan said it will appear that the utility is already accepting the enormous spike which is still being deliberated by the SC.

While the Department of Energy and other agencies, power producers and Meralco said generation charges spiked in November and December due to the shutdowns, several groups allege government error or a conspiracy among power companies.

This triggered not just a case in the Supreme Court but Congressional investigations as well.