MANILA - The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) is seeking the approval of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to lower its distribution charge to soften the impact of the widely expected hike in electricity rates this month.
Meralco said in a statement generation charge is estimated to increase by P0.25 to P0.30 per kilowatt hour (kwh).
The distribution utility attributed the increase to the higher prices at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) for the June supply month following numerous instances of forced outages by other power plants which triggered a number of yellow alerts.
According to Meralco, the Malampaya gas restrictions last month also resulted in the use of more expensive alternative fuel, like condensate by some power plants.
In particular, the First Gas plants, or the Santa Rita and San Lorenzo natural gas power plants, supply a combined 1,500 megawatts (MW) of power to the Luzon power grid.
Meralco, however, hopes the expected reduced distribution charge will offset this increase.
It is currently awaiting the ERC Order, which it hopes to receive on July 10.
Meralco said it is ready to implement a lower distribution charge this July upon receipt of the ERC order approving the application it had earlier filed.
Meanwhile, customers of the distribution utility can expect the delivery of electricity bills to be delayed.
Those who receive their bills on the 6th to the 12th of the month will receive their bills within a week.
“For example, a customer whose bill usually arrives on the 10th of the month will most likely have his July bill arrive between the 14th and the 17th of this month,” Meralco said.
Due dates of the customers covered by the slide in the billing schedule will also be adjusted accordingly, it added.
Customers can settle their bills in Bayad Center outlets and other partner banks and establishments. For customers enrolled in auto-debit and auto-charge payment agreements, Meralco advised that their July electricity bill could be deducted from their bank account or charged to their credit card in August.
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