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  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District

Meralco Increases Power Rates For June

The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) announced an upward adjustment in electricity rates for June 2024.


Meralco announces an increase in electricity rates for June 2024, driven by higher generation and transmission charges. | Photo: Meralco



The rate increase of P0.6436 per kWh brings the new overall rate to P12.0575 per kWh from the previous P11.4139 per kWh. For a typical residential customer consuming 200 kWh, this translates to an additional P129 on their monthly bill.


Factors Driving the Rate Increase


The primary driver of the rate hike is the generation charge, which increased by P0.3466 per kWh. This rise is largely due to higher costs from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), exacerbated by tight supply conditions and increased demand.



Meralco Senior Vice President and Head of Regulatory Management Office, Atty. Jose Ronald V. Valles, noted that the company, with assistance from suppliers like Quezon Power, San Buenaventura Power, and South Premiere Power Corporation, deferred the collection of P500 million in generation costs to mitigate the impact on consumers.


These deferred costs will be billed over the next three months, pending Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) approval.



“The increase in the generation charge this month would have been higher but Meralco took the initiative to cushion the impact of the higher pass-through costs to our customers with the help from some of our suppliers which deferred the collection of portions of their generation costs,” Valles said.



Other contributing factors to the rate increase include higher transmission charges, up by P0.1450 per kWh due to ancillary service charges, and a new Feed-in Tariff Allowance (FIT-All) rate of P0.0838 per kWh.


Conversely, charges from Power Supply Agreements (PSAs) decreased by P0.2988 per kWh due to deferred generation costs and lower fuel costs.



Meralco Raises Alarm Over Surge in Electric Meter Thefts, Urges Public Vigilance


Meralco has raised concerns over the rising incidents of electric meter theft, with 1,596 meters stolen in 2023 and 865 reported stolen in the first five months of 2024. Under Republic Act No. 7832, possession of stolen electric meters is punishable by imprisonment and fines.



Meralco's Vice President and Head of Corporate Communications, Joe R. Zaldarriaga, urged the public to report theft 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 warned against the dangers of kite-flying near power lines, which has led to numerous power interruptions and accidents. In May 2024 alone, 60 incidents were reported, nearly double from the previous year.


The public is advised to report tangled kites to Meralco instead of attempting to retrieve them.



New 600-MW Baseload Supply Bidding Launched


Meralco has initiated a Competitive Selection Process (CSP) for a 600 MW baseload supply to meet future power demands, starting August 26, 2025. This 15-year Power Supply Agreement (PSA) aligns with the Department of Energy's (DOE) advisory encouraging the use of indigenous natural gas.



Meralco’s Bids and Awards Committee has set deadlines for the submission of expressions of interest by June 25, 2024, with the pre-bid conference on July 4 and bid submission on August 2.


This move is part of Meralco’s strategy to ensure reliable and cost-effective power supply for its customers.




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