Meralco sounds off higher gen charge in May

By Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 29 2014 04:47 PM | Updated as of Apr 30 2014 12:47 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Consumers must brace for higher electricity bill next week as the Manila Electirc Co. (Meralco) confirmed another spike in generation charge for May.

Meralco spokesman Joe Zaldarriaga said while there is no definite figure yet, he estimates the spike in generation charge to not go beyond P1 per kilowatt hour (kwh).

An earlier simulation showed that Meralco will have two straight months of higher generation charge starting April.

For May, the earlier simulation showed a P1.72/kwh spike but was later tempered to P0.44/kwh, based on estimates.

According to Zaldarriaga, aside from the increase in generation charge, consumers are likely to have higher electricity bills this month and probably next month due to the sizzling summer temperatures.

Meanwhile, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has begun gathering comments on its proposal to require distribution utilities and cooperatives to inform the commission of its generation charge four days before it is implemented.

This will give ERC the time to check whether the spikes or reductions are acceptable of if there will be a need to audit the figures.

But when asked if the impending spike in generation charge of Meralco can first be scrutinized before it is implemented, the ERC refused to say the threshold amount that it might stop.