MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) is hiking power rates in the March billing, after two straight months of rollbacks.
Meralco announced P0.0625 per kilowatt hour (kWh) increase on to P9.6467 per kWh from the previous month’s P9.5842 per kWh.
The adjustment is equivalent to increases for households consuming the folllowing:
- 200 kWh – P12.50
- 300 kWh – P18.75
- 400 kWh – P25
- 500 kWh – P31.25
The March rate is slightly lower than the rate in the December bill, which was P9.773 per kWh, but the power distributor warned customers that higher fuel prices could have an impact on power rates in the coming months.
Because of the scheduled outages, wholesale electricity spot market (WESM) charges increased by P13.4211 per kWh.
Independent power producers’ (IPPs’) charges increased by P0.1625 per kWh, while power supply agreements’ (PSAs’) rates increased by P0.1510 per kWh. According to Meralco, the weakening of the peso has also contributed to higher IPP costs.
Meralco stated that the tariff increase should have been greater, but this was mitigated by a recent Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) ruling ordering it to refund an additional P4.8 billion to its customers.
According to Meralco Vice President and Corporate Communications Head Joe Zaldarriaga, the industry regulator’s pay-back directive would entail a P0.1923 per kWh refund to the utility company’s residential subscribers.
The ERC ruling increased the initial P13.9 billion refund mandated for Meralco’s enforcement since last year. In addition, in a new order issued by the regulator in February 2022, the pay-back coverage was expanded to include the December 2020 to December 2021 billing cycles.