Power retailer Manila Electric Co. said Friday electricity rates may be higher in February following the lapse of a distribution-related refund.
“While we have yet to receive final billings from our suppliers, there is an upward pressure on the electricity rates this month,” Meralco spokesman Joe Zaldarraiga said.
Zaldarriaga said this was mainly due to the completion of a distribution-related refund equivalent to around P0.19 per kilowatt-hour for residential customers.
“However, we are optimistic that this can be mitigated by lower WESM [Wholesale Electricity Spot Market] prices given the improved Luzon grid situation amid lower demand and less power plants on outage as well as the absence of yellow alert in the last supply month,” he said.
Meralco sourced nine percent of its power supply requirements from the WESM in January.
“We also expect the lower natural gas prices as a result of Malampaya’s quarterly repricing to further help temper any increase in other bill components,” Zaldarriaga said.
Meralco’s electricity rates went up by P0.6232 per kWh in January on higher generation charges and the completion of a distribution-related refund amounting to P0.2761 per kWh for residential customers.
Meralco’s overall rate for a typical household went up to P10.9001 per kWh last month from P10.2769 per kWh in December.
Generation charge went up by P0.3316 to P7.1291 in January from P6.7975 per kWh the previous month.
The company said early this week it would continue exhausting all measures and work with relevant industry stakeholders to find ways to mitigate the impact of the Court of Appeals’ issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction on a supply deal with a generation company.
Meralco said it would ensure the continued delivery of stable and reliable power to its 7.6 million customers following the CA ruling.
The company said it would continue to source supply from the WESM until it finds a new supplier to bridge the supply gap, a move that raised concerns about higher power rates in March.
Meralco received the CA’s 13th Division’s decision granting the WPI sought by South Premiere Power Corp about the 2019 power supply agreement involving 670 megawatts of supply.