Meralco announces recomputed January rate hike

by Raffy Santos, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 20 2014 12:22 PM | Updated as of Mar 21 2014 05:43 AM

MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) - Manila Electric Co. will ask the Energy Regulatory Commission for an additional P0.45 per kilowatt hour rate hike for January.

Meralco had earlier asked for a P4.56 per kwh increase for January, but slashed the hike after recalculating the latest invoice from Wholesale Electricity Spot Market regulator Philippine Electricity Market Corp.

"It's basically ERC ordered PEMC to do a recalculation on the December supply month and based on the recalculation, nagkaroon nga ho ng pagbaba to P0.45 per kwh, which is now the rate from the P4.56 earlier announced," Meralco spokesman Joe Zaldarriaga said.

The P0.45 increase will be on top of the P5.67 centavo hike Meralco implemented and collected last January.

Meralco added they will also ask the regulator for staggered recovery, and in this case the increase will be spread out for six months.

Meralco will submit the rate hike proposal this week for ERC approval.

Meralco head of utility economics Larry Fernandez said the reason for the big drop is due to the decline in WESM rates for December. The original WESM rate was P36 per kwh, which was recalculated to P8.33 per kwh.

"Kaya sumunod ang generation charge mula original na P10.23 per kwh, ay naging P6.12 per kwh," he said.

"Yung bagong generation charge ay batay pa rin sa siningil sa amin ng mga generators, nandoon yun cost na ginamits a panggatong, na liquid fuel, na mas mahal kesa sa natural gas ng Malampaya na hindi available at that time dahil nag-shutdown ang pipeline," he added.

December and January gen charges were held at November levels after an unprecedented spike in spot prices late last year when Malampaya gas field and several power plants were shut down.

As for the impact to residential customers, Fernandez said, "Kumpara dati na ang impact sa mga 200 kwh residential customers ay P5.33, baba to P0.65 per kwh, kasama na ng epekto ng taxes.