Mer­alco bills up for 5th straight month

Business World - - FRONT PAGE - VVS

MANILA ELEC­TRIC Co. (Mer­alco) is rais­ing by P0.3436 per kilo­watt-hour (/kWh) the over­all elec­tric­ity rate for Novem­ber due to in­creases in gen­er­a­tion and trans­mis­sion charges.

“The Novem­ber rate in­crease is mainly due to the P0.1925/kWh in­crease in gen­er­a­tion charge,” Mer­alco said.

The ad­just­ment brings the power rate for res­i­den­tial con­sumers to P9.6272/ kWh from P9.2836/kWh in Oc­to­ber.

For house­holds us­ing 200 kWh — the big­gest res­i­den­tial con­sumer seg­ment — the in­crease trans­lates to a rise of P68.72 in their to­tal bill for the month. Those us­ing 300 kWh, 400 kWh and 500 kWh, will see cor­re­spond­ing in­creases of P103.08, P137.44 and P171.80, re­spec­tively.

The tar­iff in­crease sup­ports ex­pec­ta­tions of a fur­ther hike in in­fla­tion rate, since elec­tric­ity ac­counts for 4.51% of the the­o­ret­i­cal bas­ket of widely used goods and ser­vices on which the an­nual change in over­all price in­crease is com­puted.

Mer­alco said the gen­er­a­tion charge in Novem­ber — re­flect­ing what the util­ity paid plants for elec­tric­ity pur­chased in the Oc­to­ber sup­ply month — rose by P0.1925/ kWh to P4.9080/ kWh from P4.7155/kWh in the Oc­to­ber bill. It said the rise was pri­mar­ily be­cause of higher charges from the Whole­sale Elec­tric­ity Spot Mar­ket ( WESM) and the de­pre­ci­a­tion of the peso against the dol­lar. Charges at WESM rose by P0.4810/kWh.

“De­spite the re­duc­tion in Lu­zon power de­mand this month, spot mar­ket prices in­creased due to tighter sup­ply con­di­tions,” the listed com­pany said.

It said the share of WESM to the power util­ity’s to­tal re­quire­ments for Novem­ber was 15%.

Mer­alco said the cost of power from in­de­pen­dent power pro­duc­ers (IPPs) in­creased with the weak­en­ing of the peso against

the dol­lar. “Peso de­pre­ci­a­tion had a much larger im­pact on IPP costs be­cause around 97% of IPP costs are dol­lar- de­nom­i­nated,” Mer­alco said.

It said the im­pact of the weak peso on power sup­ply agree­ments (PSAs) was cush­ioned by a lower share of costs de­nom­i­nated in US dol­lars at about 58%.

The P0.2868/ kWh in­crease in the cost of IPPs may also be at­trib­uted to lower av­er­age plant dis­patch after the sched­uled shut­down of a mod­ule of the 500-megawatt San Lorenzo power plant in Batan­gas City for the en­tire sup­ply month, the com­pany said.

It said de­spite higher fuel prices, the in­crease in cost of PSAs was soft­ened to P0.0076/ kWh be­cause of the im­prove­ment in av­er­age plant dis­patch.

“The shares of IPPs and PSAs to Mer­alco’s to­tal re­quire­ments stood at 41% and 44%, re­spec­tively,” Mer­alco noted.

Also con­tribut­ing to higher Novem­ber power rates was the P0.086/kWh rise in trans­mis­sion charge for res­i­den­tial con­sumers. Mer­alco at­trib­uted this to higher an­cil­lary ser­vice charges from the Na­tional Grid Cor­po­ra­tion of the Philip­pines (NGCP).

Taxes and other charges also rose by P0.0651/kWh dur­ing the month, the util­ity said.

“Mer­alco’s dis­tri­bu­tion, sup­ply, and me­ter­ing charges, mean­while, have re­mained un­changed for 28 months, after the regis­tered re­duc­tions in July 2015,” it said.

Mer­alco does not earn from pass- through charges such as gen­er­a­tion and trans­mis­sion charges as these are re­mit­ted to power sup­pli­ers and NGCP, re­spec­tively.

Novem­ber is the fifth con­sec­u­tive month of Mer­alco rate hike after Oc­to­ber’s 0.0345/kWh, Septem­ber’s P0.8642/kWh, Au­gust’s P0.1338/kWh and July’s 0.0761/ kWh.

Taxes and other pu­bic pol­icy charges such as the feed-in-tar­iff al­lowance, known by the acro­nym FiT-All, are col­lected by the gov­ern­ment.

Mer­alco’s con­trol­ling stake­holder, Bea­con Elec­tric As­set Hold­ings, Inc., is partly owned by PLDT Inc. Hast­ings Hold­ings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Ben­e­fi­cial Trust Fund sub­sidiary Me­di­aQuest Hold­ings, Inc., which has in­ter­est in Busi­nessWorld through the Philip­pine Star Group, which it con­trols. —

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.