MANILA, Philippines - Do you wonder why you paid more for your electricity bill in June, even though your consumption was less than the previous month?
This is because Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) actually collected increases in other charges aside from the announced P0.56/kwh hike in generation charge.
A sheet of paper tucked in the June billing statement shows the following increases:
- transmission by P0.08/kwh;
- taxes by P0.06/kwh; and
- subsidies and systems loss by P0.03/kwh.
These increases totalled P0.17/kwh, which is added to the announced P0.54/kwh gencharge hike, bringing the total increase in electricity rates to P0.71/kwh hike for June.
Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) executive director Francis Juan said transmission and system loss charges are interconnected, so if the gencharge goes up, the 2 components also go up.
Juan said Meralco or any utility should explain all the components of the bill in detail so that consumers will understand it.
For July, Juan said Meralco will already implement a P0.03/kwh hike in distribution charge.
The red and yellow alert status experienced by National Grid for more than a week in June may also push electricity prices higher in the next billing.
In August, consumers may also experience another spike in power prices, this time due to the scheduled 9-day maintenance shutdown of Malampaya natural gas facility. This means that 3 major power plants will have to use the more expensive liquid condensates which will mean more expensive electricity.