Meralco releases estimated price spike in April, May

By Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 17 2015 04:47 PM | Updated as of Mar 18 2015 12:47 AM

MANILA – Manila Electric Company (Meralco) has released the estimated price spike in its generation charge for April and May during the Malampaya natural gas (natgas) facility shutdown.

Meralco head for utility economics Larry Fernandez said based on their simulation, the April generation charge can go up by P0.46 per kilowatt hour (kwh) while the May generation charge can go up by P0.72/kwh.

Fernandez said the three major plants that produce power using natural gas will now use oil-based fuel, which is more expensive than natural gas.

The Department of Energy explained that plants using natgas produce around P5/kwh of electricity while plants using liquid condensates or biodiesel produce electricity priced at an average P7-10/kwh or a difference of P2-P5/kwh more than natural gas.

MARKET PRICES NOT YET UP

Prices at the spot market, meanwhile, have not yet gone up two days after the shutdown began.

Katrina Garcia, assistant manager at the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC), said prices have not yet gone up so far and will not shoot up like what happened last December 2013.

Garcia said there are already caps in place that if ever triggered will only limit the highest market price at P9/kwh.

But Garcia said "demand is likely to go up as temperatures rise and this may lead to higher prices"

ILP RESOLUTION

Meanwhile, Energy Regulatory Commission Executive Director Francis Juan has confirmed that it has already approved the resolution that will include the contestable customers in the interruptible load program (ILP).

Contestable customers are big firms with huge generators but are not customers of Meralco.

Under amended rules, the ILP will now include contestable consumers but the trigger is still red alert, which means the ILP participants can be called upon only when the reserve supply is only around 300 megawatts or deficient.