Power rates on downswing

Households are facing improved budget prospects as the cost of electricity is expected to further decline.

For the second straight month, dominant distribution utility Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) slashed the overall power rate this August by 20 centavos due to lower generation charges.

Meralco said Monday the electricity rate of a typical household went down by P0.21 this month to P9.55 per kWh from last month’s P9.75 per kWh.

The reduction translates to a decrease of around P42 in the total bill of a residential customer consuming 200 kilowatthour (kWh) and as much as P104 for those consuming 500 kwh.

With these adjustments, Meralco rates now have a combined reduction of P0.92 per kWh over the past two months and a net decrease of P0.23 per kWh since the start of the year.

Lower gen charge

The generation charge for August went down by P0.19 to P6.58 per kWh from P6.78 per kWh last month due to the decrease in charges from Power Supply Agreements, which more than offset increases in charges from Independent Power Producers and the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).

Charges from the WESM remained high, registering an increase of P0.0433 per kWh due to tight supply conditions in the Luzon grid.

Despite the demand reduction, the grid was placed on yellow alert on 5 July due to insufficient operating reserves after the forced outage of several large power plants.

The persistently high spot market prices triggered the imposition of the secondary price cap almost 27 percent of the time.

Refund offsets rate

Meralco said the implementation of distribution-related refunds amounting to P48.3 billion as ordered by the Energy Regulatory Commission continues to temper customers’ monthly bills.

The total refund rate stood at P1.80 per kWh for residential customers.

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