MANILA — Several electric cooperatives in the provinces started implementing higher rates for March as Meraclo consumers brace for another spike in overall electricity rates in the incoming bill.
Casureco II in Camarines Sur has advised its customers of a P0.50/kwh hike due to higher coal prices used by its supplier in producing power.
The Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives confirmed more coops in Luzon and Visayas were affected by higher generation charges due to higher coal prices as well as higher spot market prices during the Malampaya natural gas facility maintenance shutdown.
Based on Philreca's record for February 2023, the top 5 electric coops with the highest overall rates include the following.
- Mountain province MOPRECO P17.16/kwh
- Sorsogon SORECO 2 P17.22/kwh
- Bukidnon FIBECO P18.30/kwh
- Kalinga KAELCO P18.14/kwh
- Cebu CEBECO 2 P19.25/kwh
Philreca Board member Darwin Daymiel said coops with big exposure to the spot market and contracts with coal fired power plants were hardest hit.
Meralco, the country's largest power utility, is also finding ways to mitigate higher rates in the coming March billing.
Meralco regulatory affairs head Ronald Valles earlier said that the company wrote the Energy Regulatory Commission to seek help on how to cushion the impact on consumers.
Meralco said the equivalent increase for several plants that used more expensive fuel during the Malampaya shutdown is already P0.70-P0.80/kwh. This does not yet include higher prices at the spot market where Meralco also gets a portion of its supply.
Nasecore President Pete Ilagan said he would file a complaint once Meralco imposes an increase due to higher generation rates. According to Ilagan, this is illegal as Meralco needs to justify first the higher cost of power before it can implement it.
Meanwhile, oil firms announced an increase for all fuel products starting Tuesday. Diesel prices are up by P1.50/liter, gasoline by P0.40/liter and kerosene by P1.25/liter due to spikes in the world market due to higher oil demand in China and the US.