MANILA, Philippines – Power consumers would have to pay more for their April electricity bills as the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) has announced an increase in its rates by P0.063 per kilowatt-hour (kwh).
This translates to an additional P12.60 for a household that consumes 200 kwh a month and as much as P31.50 for those using 500 kwh per month.
Meralco attributed it primarily to higher charges in the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM); weakening peso against dollar exchange; and higher generation charges.
Although the rate hike is considered minimal, the utility company still urges households to conserve energy by unplugging unused gadgets and to use their appliances efficiently.
The power rate hike announcement comes amid a series of yellow alert status on supply in the Luzon grid.
Yellow alert is the second highest alert being declared by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) when power supply thins due to increased demand.
On Monday (April 8), the NGCP has placed Luzon grid on yellow alert from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., the sixth day since Monday last week.
The grid’s current available capacity is only 11,267 megawatts (MW) compared to the peak demand of 10,438MW.
The Department of Energy said upticks in prices in the spot market have been observed last week as a result of the thinning of Luzon power supply.
Meralco has indicated that the yellow alert will have an impact on its overall rates for May but it has yet to determine the exact amount.
“So the whole week last week, we have five days of yellow alert and then today we have another yellow alert. So, that will affect spot market prices once more which may affect generation charge,” said Meralco Utilities and Economics Head, Larry Fernandez.
The power distributor also assured its interruptible load program is ready in case the Luzon grid reserves further decline. – Robie de Guzman (with details from Mon Jocson)
Widespread disruption of electrical power has been reported in the Bicol Region after the onslaught of Typhoon Quinta, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) said Monday.
In an update posted on Twitter, the NGCP said that as of 6 a.m., areas of Sorsogon and Camarines Sur are still without power while supply in Quezon, Albay and Batangas areas have been partially restored.
Power supply in Laguna and Camarines Norte, on the other hand, have returned to normal.
The agency said the loss of power may be caused by transmission facilities or distribution facilities of local distribution utilities or electric cooperatives affected by the onslaught of Typhoon Quinta.
The agency added that transmission services may be 100 percent restored but energization may not be implemented due to unrestored distribution systems.
“Inspection and restoration of lines in the affected areas will be in full swing as soon as the weather allows,” the NGCP said.
“Please contact your local electric cooperative or distribution utility for updates on distribution system restoration and specific areas affected by the power interruptions, unless the outage affects the entire franchise area,” it added.
The Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) Region 5 earlier reported damage and flooding in parts of the region due to heavy rains and strong winds brought about by Typhoon Quinta.
In an initial report, the OCD said around 8,030 families or 24,736 individuals were displaced by the storm and are currently staying in evacuation centers.
Twelve fishermen were also reported missing in Catanduanes.
The local government said the distribution of food packs is ongoing in evacuation centers as it monitors the health and safety of evacuees to avoid possible infection of coronavirus disease inside the crowded shelters. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Bryan Baldaraje)
The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) has announced that power rates for the month of September will go down due to the low demand for power supply during the quarantine period.
In a statement, Meralco said a household consuming 200 kilowatt-hour (kWh) is set to save around P12 this month. Households consuming 300 kWh, meanwhile, will save P19. For households consuming 400 kWh and 500 kWh will save P25 and P31, respectively.
Meralco Utility Economics Head Lawrence Fernandez said the limited operations of several establishments brought by quarantine protocols also contributed to the low power rates.
“Noong nagkaroon ng reimposition ng MECQ (Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine) for two weeks in August, nakakita rin tayo ng pag-reduce ng demand (During the reimposition of the MECQ for two weeks in August we saw a reduction on the demand) for the month of August and this was reflected in the rates this month,“ he said.
This is the fifth consecutive month that Meralco implemented power rate cuts in their overall charges.
Meanwhile, the electric company still has to confirm if they will also extend its ‘no disconnection policy’ which is set to end on October 31, 2020.
Meralco Spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga said the company has also yet to decide on the P20 million fine from the Energy Regulatory Board (ERC) due to the bill shock.
“Our lawyers are studying the order of the regulator. Hopefully, soon, we will be able to give you a more concrete answer in so far as the penalty is concerned,” he said. -AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)
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