Meralco retracts; June rates down, not up

By Darryl John Esguerra

June 16, 2024, 3:02 pm

<p><em>(PNA file photo by Ben Briones) </em></p>

(PNA file photo by Ben Briones) 

MANILA – Power distributor Manila Electric Company (Meralco) announced on Sunday a substantial reduction in June electricity rates, retracting an earlier announcement of an increase.

In a statement, Meralco said the turnaround was due to the order of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to stagger the collection of generation costs from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Marker (WESM) purchases in the May supply month in four equal monthly installments starting in the June billing.

Thus, Meralco customers can expect a PHP1.9623 per kWh (kilowatt-hour) reduction in the electricity rate this June instead of the PHP0.6436 per kWh increase as earlier announced.

This brings the overall rate for a typical household to PHP9.4516 per kWh from the previous month’s PHP11.4139 per kWh, Meralco said.

For residential customers consuming at least 200 kWh, the adjustment is equivalent to a PHP392 reduction in their total electricity bill.

The cutback for June primarily reflects a decrease of P1.8308 per kWh in the generation charge, while transmission charges and feed-in tariff allowances remain unchanged at P0.1450 per kWh and P0.0474 per kWh, respectively.

Taxes and other charges also see a net reduction of P0.3239 per kWh.

Joe Zaldarriaga, Meralco vice president and head of corporate communications, said the power distributor is committed to implementing the ERC’s order and ensuring customers have enough time to pay their bills by adjusting due dates.

However, the Meralco official cautioned customers of an expected increase in generation charges over the next three months as deferred amounts are collected on a staggered basis.

“We would like to advise this early that our customers can expect generation charge to increase in succeeding months as we collect the deferred amounts on a staggered basis as a result of the recent developments,” Zaldarriaga said.

"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," he added. (PNA)