Meralco eyes recovery of January gen charge hike

by Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 06 2014 04:52 PM | Updated as of Feb 07 2014 06:08 AM

MANILA, Philippines -- Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) is set to file anytime this month a petition with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to recover the increase in generation charge for January, which is actually higher than the December spike earlier stopped by the Supreme Court.

Meralco head for legal affairs William Pamintuan said the utility will file a petition to recover the P5.33 per kilowatt hour spike in January generation charge but on a staggered basis.

According to Pamintuan, Meralco is still crunching the numbers on what scheme or type of staggered increase it will ask for.

But ERC said consumers can still relax until April as there will be hearings and consultations before a decision is made.

Aside from the petition, Meralco also filed an omnibus motion with the regulator to re-run transactions and dispatches in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) or recalculate and determine the true cost of electricity during the questioned period of November and December 2013.

"In the interest of the consuming public, Meralco respectfully moves for the re-run of WESM transactions and dispatches or for the undertaking of any appropriate measure to recalculate and determine the true cost of electricity in the WESM during the November to December 2013 supply months,” Meralco said in a filing dated January 27.

Meralco said the re-run or recalculation is consistent with the powers granted to ERC in the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001.

"Market re-runs or recalculation will facilitate the determination of the true cost of electricity with respect to WESM transactions for the November to December 2013 supply months (which correspond to Meralco’s December 2013 to January billing months) without the distorting effect of the full available capacity of power plants not having been offered, or if offered, at prices which were lower than had cleared, being dispatched, and hence, setting the clearing prices," it said.

Meanwhile, members of AKBAYAN and a homeowners group trooped to the ERC seeking the resignation of ERC chairman Zenaida Ducut.

The group posted an eviction notice against Ducut.

However, Ducut did not issue a statement in response to the calls for her resignation.