Power rates down again this December as generation charge falls to its lowest for the yearDate Published: December 18, 2014
Minimal power interruptions also recorded in the wake of typhoon Ruby
Power rates will go down by P0.19 per (kWh) in December for a typical household consuming 200 kWh, equivalent to a decrease of around P38 in the bill.
This is the second month that power prices have gone down. Combining last month’s and this month’s adjustments, overall rates are down by P0.60 per kWh since October 2014.
Improved supply situation drives generation charge reduction
The downward adjustment is attributed principally to the P0.17 per kWh reduction in the generation charge, which registered its lowest level for the year. At P4.94 per kWh, this month’s generation charge marks the first time since October 2013 that the said charge went below P5.00 per kWh. The reduction in the generation charge was mainly driven by lower charges from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), which registered a reduction of P1.70 per kWh due to the normal operations of the power plants during the November supply month. The supply situation in Luzon improved especially after Sual’s Unit 1 (647 MW) came back online after a month-long maintenance shutdown in October 2014. In addition, WESM charges decreased due to the completion in October of adjustments from prior months, which include additional Must-Run Unit (MRU) compensation for Malaya and the secondary cap additional compensation for the supply months of May and June 2014. These account for around P0.09 of the P0.17 per kWh decrease in generation charge this month. The lower WESM charges offset the slight P0.10 per kWh and P0.03 per kWh increases in the average rates of the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and power plants covered by Power Supply Agreements (PSAs), respectively. In terms of share to Meralco’s total power requirements for the November supply month, WESM, IPPs, and PSAs accounted for 4, 43, and 53 percent, respectively.
Adjustments in other bill components
Contributing also to the overall downward adjustment in the bills to households is the P0.014 decrease in taxes and P0.023 cumulative decrease in the system loss charge and subsidies. Transmission charge, on the other hand, increased by P0.017 per kWh due to the higher ancillary service charges. Meralco reiterated that it does not earn from the pass-through charges, such as the generation and transmission charges. Payment for the generation charge goes to the power suppliers such as the plants selling to Meralco through the WESM and under the PSAs, as well as the IPPs. Payment for the transmission charge, meanwhile, goes to the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP). Of the total bill, only the distribution, supply, and metering charges accrue to Meralco.
Meralco’s preparations for Typhoon Ruby results in minimal outages
In a related development, Meralco reported that there were minimal outages recorded with only a number of customers affected in portions of Batangas after typhoon Ruby hit the Meralco franchise area. It said that its preparations helped avert damages to its facilities and prevent service interruptions despite the strong winds and rain that hit portions of its franchise area. Among others, part of Meralco’s efforts included inspecting the integrity of its facilities, and having essential personnel, such as linemen and call center agents, on full alert before, during and after the typhoon to ensure that it is ready to respond immediately to any typhoon-related concern that customers may experience.
Meralco’s Maliwanag ang Pasko
In addition to the good news of lower rates this December, Meralco would also like to invite everyone to its Liwanag Park, located at the Meralco Main Office in Ortigas, Pasig City. The park features attractions such as a belen (Nativity scene), Christmas tree, and church replica, all of which are made of copper wire and with heights of 50 feet each. Visitors are also treated to free eTrain, electric vehicle, and basket truck rides. There is also Christmas tree projection show and night bazaar, where visitors can buy food, garments and more. The Liwanag Park, which will run until January 19, 2015, is open every day (except December 18) and entrance is free. The Liwanag Park is part of Meralco’s Maliwanag ang Pasko program. It is an annual corporate social responsibility (CSR) program that focuses on energizing island schools. Since 2011, the program has already energized 70 island schools in various provinces all over the country.