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  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District

Meralco Announces June Rate Reduction

In an unexpected but welcome development, the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) has announced a substantial reduction in June electricity rates.


Exciting news for Meralco customers: A notable decrease in electricity rates is coming in June.



This turnaround comes after the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) issued an order on June 13 mandating the staggered collection of generation costs from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).


The ERC's directive requires all distribution utilities and electric cooperatives, including Meralco, to spread the charges from May's WESM purchases over four equal monthly installments, starting this billing month through September 2024.



What This Means for Meralco Customers


As a result of this ERC order, Meralco customers will experience a P1.9623 per kWh decrease in their June electricity rates, reversing the previously anticipated increase of P0.6436 per kWh.


This adjustment brings the overall rate for a typical household down to P9.4516 per kWh from May’s P11.4139 per kWh. For residential customers consuming 200 kWh, this translates to a decrease of approximately P392 in their total electricity bill.



The new rate for June reflects a P1.8308 per kWh decrease in the generation charge. However, increases in the transmission charge and feed-in tariff allowance will still be implemented, rising by P0.1450 per kWh and P0.0474 per kWh, respectively.


Meanwhile, taxes and other charges see a net reduction of P0.3239 per kWh.



“We ask for the understanding of our customers over the delayed bills as we implement the newly issued order of the ERC. Rest assured that Meralco will implement adjusted due dates to give our customers enough time to pay their bills,” stated Joe R. Zaldarriaga, Meralco Vice President and Head of Corporate Communications.


Anticipating Future Adjustments


Looking ahead, Meralco has advised customers to brace for an increase in the generation charge over the next three months. This is due to the deferred costs now being collected in staggered amounts.



The deferred P500 million in generation costs from Quezon Power (Philippines) Ltd., San Buenaventura Power Ltd. Co., and South Premiere Power Corporation will be included in bills over the next three billing periods, as sanctioned by the ERC.


"With these already deferred costs, and the recent order of the ERC to also stagger the collection of WESM charges, around P0.77 per kWh will be added every month to the generation charge in the July to September bills," Zaldarriaga explained.



Additional Safety and Security Concerns


In addition to these rate changes, Meralco has raised alarms over the surge in electric meter thefts, reporting 1,596 meters stolen in 2023 and 865 in the first five months of 2024.


Under Republic Act No. 7832, possession of stolen electric meters is punishable by imprisonment and fines. Zaldarriaga urged the public to report such thefts and reminded them that meters are Meralco property, provided at no cost to customers.



“Stealing electric meters and buying stolen meters are crimes punishable under the law. Anyone caught in possession of these stolen equipment will be prosecuted and penalized accordingly. We remind the public that these electric meters are the property of Meralco, and we do not charge our customers for its use,” Zaldarriaga said.

 

Additionally, Meralco has warned against kite-flying near power lines, which has led to numerous power interruptions and accidents. The public is advised to report tangled kites to Meralco instead of attempting retrieval, ensuring safety and uninterrupted power supply.




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