Meralco announces lower gencharge for December

by Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 09 2014 03:09 PM | Updated as of Dec 10 2014 05:14 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Good news for consumers, as their Manila Electric Company (Meralco) bills for December will be lower.

Meralco bills for December will reflect a reduction of P0.19/kwh due to lower generation and other charges.

Meralco spokesman Joe Zaldarriaga said the decrease was due to the continuous and unhampered operation of power plants supplying Meralco.

For consumers using 200 kwh a month, the reduction is P38; P57 for 300 kwh users; P76 for 400 kwh users; and P95 for those using 500 kwh.

Meralco head for utility economics Larry Fernandez said the hefty reduction in the prices of fuel may also translate to lower generation charge for power plants running on natural gas since natgas is also pegged or indexed with crude prices.

However, this is done every quarter, so any considerable decrease in the last few weeks can only be reflected by during the first quarter of 2015.

More than 50 percent of Meralco's supply comes from the 3 major power plants running on natgas. Other plants running on coal which also contribute to Meralco's oversupply may also reflect lower generation charge since coal prices are also going down, like oil prices.

Minimal damage caused by 'Ruby'

Meanwhile, typhoon "Ruby" only brought minimal damage to Meralco's franchise area, Zaldarriaga said.

There are only 1,200 households in Batangas that continue to experience power supply interruption due to damage to lines.

But Meralco said it is targeting restoration of power within the day.

Power crisis preparations

Meanwhile, Fernandez said so far Meralco has already contracted 195 MW for the interruptible load program.

Meralco is confident it can reach more than 500 MW by year-end since many businesses have already signified their intention to join the program in preparation of the impending power crisis.