Meralco says lower power bills in February

Warren de Guzman, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 08 2021 05:14 PM | Updated as of Feb 08 2021 06:53 PM

MANILA - Meralco said customers may enjoy a P0.0704 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) reduction in electricity bill this February.

This is due to lower charges in generation and transmission, as well as taxes and other fees while distribution charges stood the same, it said Monday.

This means that a household consuming 200 kWh per month will see a P14 reduction in their February bill, while consumers of 300kWh will see P21 cut, P28 for 400 kWh users, and P35 for 500 kWh.

Larry Fernandez, Meralco's head of utility economics, said they are unsure how electricity rates will behave moving forward as it has been stable with balanced ups and downs in the past 10 months.

"Generations costs have been the biggest drivers, and these are influenced by many factors, like cost of fuel, exchange rate, condition of power plants. This month, we saw more plant outages in January compared to December so we saw an increase. Cost of Malampaya increased when it was updated, to reflect world prices," Fernandez said.

"It is hard to say at the moment whether rates will go down or up,” he added.

Meralco further said it will abide by the Department of Energy's advisory to extend the "no disconnection policy" for lifeline consumers, even after failing to pay bills due March 2021. 

Lifeline consumers of Meralco are those consuming electricity below 100 kWh per month.

The DOE said lifeline consumers take up 32 percent of the consumer base of distribution utilities like Meralco, while accounting for only 3 percent of their electricity sales.

Enough power supply in summer vaccinations

Meralco assured that there is enough power supply in the summer months for the country's vaccination program -- powering new and existing cold storages for vaccines.

"Many of these are already existing cold storage facilities, so we are just coordinating with LGUs [local government units] if there are new cold storage facilities. We need to be informed where these are, so the circuits in these specific locations can be prepare," Fernandez said.

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