PEMC issues recalculated spot prices

by Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 18 2014 03:27 PM | Updated as of Mar 19 2014 04:50 AM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - The Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC), the operator of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), has released its computation for what the generation charge should have been for the months of December and January.

Based on the recomputation, Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) should have paid just P6 per kilowatt hour (kwh) in November instead of P25/kwh.

For the month of December, the recomputed price is just a little over P6 instead of P2, which means the generation charge jump in Meralco’s December bill should be around P2/kwh instead of the P4.15 earlier halted by the Supreme Court.

For the January bill, it would be about P3 instead of more than P5.

"Ang sinasabi naman nila kasi ang laki ng WESM price. Now it's only P0.43 centavos/kwh," said PEMC president Melinda Ocampo.

But the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said the reduction could be even more, once the new spot market price is applied to other items in the bill that are linked to generation.

ERC executive director Francis Juan said that should bring it down to around P0.50/kwh.

PEMC recalculated the spot prices after ERC last week declared there was a market failure in November and December when the Malampaya natural gas facility was on maintenance shut down.

ERC then ordered the PEMC to recompute market prices.

"Hindi ko matiyak kung saan nanggaling ang kwenta ng PEMC, paninindigan ko naman ang sinabi ko dahil 'yun ang kalkulasyon ng staff namin," said Juan.

Meralco has to make its own computation before the ERC holds hearings and decides the exact amount.

Meralco said even if the final amount of increase is below P1/kwh, it will accept a staggered recovery.

"Kailangan namin namin maghain motion or petition sa ERC kung papaano ito i-implement," said Meralco spokesman Joe Zaldarriaga.

The Makabayan bloc is dismayed with the PEMC recalculation, insisting that there should be no hike at all.

Other groups, meanwhile, want hearings in order to scrutinize the figures before consumers are compelled to pay.