Meralco customers projected to save 18c per kwh

By Neil Jerome Morales, The Philippine Star

Posted at Nov 16 2012 08:10 AM | Updated as of Nov 16 2012 09:13 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) said customers will save around 18 centavos per kilowatt-hour (kwh) in their bills as new power supply agreements (PSAs) forged with generators will ensure that the power utility giant will rely less on expensive electricity in the wholesale spot market.

In a statement, Meralco said the PSAs are “projected to reduce the generation charge component of the bills of Meralco customers by an estimated average of 18 centavos per kwh once they are implemented.”

Meralco said the negotiated PSAs will replace the transition supply contract with the National Power Corp. (Napocor) that will expire on Dec. 25, 2012.

“We leveraged on our large customer base to hammer out the best deal with the power generation companies for our customers,” said Alfredo Panlilio, Meralco senior vice-president for customer retail services.

Panlilio said the country’s largest power distributor is awaiting the Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval of the PSAs.

The new PSAs, together with Meralco’s other bilateral contracts, account for about 95 percent of the requirements of Meralco customers in 2013.

Specifically, PSAs were signed with Consunji-led SEM-Calaca Power Corp., Masinloc Power Partners Co. Ltd., Aboitiz-led Therma Luzon Inc., South Premiere Power Corp. and San Miguel Energy Corp.

The remaining supply requirements will be sourced from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).

Meralco said generation costs normally surge during peak periods of 11 am to 3 pm. WESM rates jumped as much as P35 per kwh during peak hours given the tight supply and high demand situation this year, Meralco said.

“Our newly-signed PSAs minimize volatility and we enjoin our customers to be energy efficient especially during peak periods from 11 am to 3 pm to minimize Meralco’s exposure to high WESM prices, thus realizing the 18 centavos per kilowatthour savings,” Panlilio said.

Meralco’s consolidated customer accounts rose 3.5 percent to a record 5.16 million as of end-September as the company added 130,042 new customers from the start of the year.

Meanwhile, Meralco said it is updating the pricing of its existing time-of-use (TOU) program.

“We were advised that the Napocor’s TOU and Ecozone Rate Program will not be extended after Dec. 25, 2012,” Meralco said.

“The good news is, with the new peak/off-peak program (POP) rates, we expect customers shifting to this new program to experience savings of up to 10 percent on the average versus blended rates in their monthly bills depending on their POP consumption,” Panlilio said.