Power rates to go up in August; oil price hike next week

By Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 13 2012 03:31 PM | Updated as of Jul 13 2012 11:45 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Consumers should brace themselves for higher electricity bills in August.

Energy Undersecretary Ina Asirit confirmed that there will be another increase in power rates next month.

Today (Friday) is the start of the maintenance shutdown of the Malampaya Natural Gas Field which supplies fuel to 3 major plants in Luzon.

Sta Rita, San Lorenzo and Ilijan power plants continue to run but on a more expensive liquid oil-based fuel.  Other plants that are also running are the coal-fired Pagbilao and the bunker-run Malaya power plant.

According to Asirit, the increase will be less than P1.00/kwh but she refused to give a range of the price uptick.

For May billing, Meralco's power rates were up by P0.71/kwh while for June, the increase in generation charge is already P0.32/kwh. Add to that Meralco's increase in distribution charge of P0.03/kwh.

But Meralco is still unable to say how much is the increase for transmission, system loss and taxes - all of which increased in the June billing.

Meanwhile, motorists are in for another oil price increase next week.

Based on Monday to Thursday trading, the total increase for gasoline is expected to be P0.60/liter, while diesel is expected to go up by P0.30/liter.

This will be the second increase in as many weeks after retail fuel prices went down for 13 consecutive weeks. 

The spike in imported fuel is being caused by renewed tension in Iran and Norway.