Meralco rates down this month

By Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 09 2015 03:13 PM | Updated as of Mar 10 2015 11:32 AM

MANILA – Manila Electric Company (Meralco) said generation and other charges are down this month despite a hefty spike in the prices of electricity at the spot market.

Overall, the reduction amounts to P0.095 per kilowatt hour, which translates to a reduction of P19 for households consuming 200 kwh, P28 for 300 kwh, P38 for 400 kwh, and P47 for 500 kwh users.

Meralco spokesman Joe Zaldarriaga said the reduction is mainly due to lower prices of power from contracted suppliers, transmission and other charges.

However, Zaldarriaga said Meralco charges are likely to go up for the April and May billing as the month-long Malampaya natural gas platform maintenance shutdown starts on March 15.

The three power plants that run on natural gas are all suppliers of Meralco. Since all of these will run on the more expensive liquid fuel, the generation charges for April and May are likely to go up.

Interruptible load program

Meralco has already obtained the commitment of 234 companies that has a capacity of 907 megawatts.

As an example, Meralco said a participant that uses its generator will spend P10 in producing a kilowatt hour of electricity as opposed to paying P9/kwh if that participant gets its power from Meralco. The P1 difference is what consumers pay under the current ILP.

Meralco, however, said this is not yet final.

If the legislators finally pass the special powers and the use of Malampaya funds to cover all additional expenses that will be incurred in the ILP, consumers will no longer shoulder the difference.

For ILP participant Mondelez, it's more than the payment. Plant manager Jose Villanueva said this is their contribution in easing the power reserve deficiency.

The company is also using biomass energy to power its production process.