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MANILA – The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) will slash power rates this month due to lower generation and transmission charges.

In a media briefing Friday, Meralco spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga said the distribution utility firm will reduce power rates by PHP0.0106 per kilowatt hour (kWh).

Power rates in February will be at PHP10.8895 per kWh from PHP10.9001 per kWh in the previous month, he said.

The adjustment will reflect a PHP2-reduction in electricity bills for households consuming 200 kWh.

Zaldarriaga said power generation cost declined by PHP0.2137 to PHP6.9154 from PHP7.1291 per kWh due to lower prices in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) and independent power producers (IPPs), where Meralco sourced the power requirements of its customers.

Lower generation costs from WESM and IPPs have offset the higher charges from power supply agreements.

"The continued appreciation of Philippine peso which affects 95 percent of IPP cost, which are dollar denominated contributed to the reduction," he said.

He added Meralco sources 47 percent of power from PSAs, 37 percent from IPPs and 16 percent from WESM this month.

Zaldarriaga said Meralco is still implementing distribution-related refund equivalent to PHP0.8656 per kWh for residential customers, which tempers this month's power rates.

Meralco will continue to roll out this refund until May 2023.

Despite the maintenance shutdown of the Malampaya gas field from Feb. 4 to 18, Zaldarriaga said power supply remains sufficient and will not impact electricity rates this month.

However, the impacts of the Malampaya shutdown can be felt by customers next month, along with the expected increase in power rates as dry season usually kicks off in March. (PNA)