Power rates up by 10 centavos per kWh for Dec.

Power bills will increase by 10 centavos per kilowatt hour (kWh) to PHP8.36, driven by the generation charge this December, the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) said Wednesday.

The bill of the average household with a monthly consumption of 200 kWh, will increase by PHP20, the distribution facility said, attributing this month's increase to the rise in generation charge by 9 centavos per kWh to PHP3.93 per kWh, largely due to the weakening of the peso against the US dollar. The peso weakened from PHP46.58 in August to PHP49.73 last month. This led independent power producers (IPPs), whose billings are about 96 percent dollar-denominated, to hike charges by 26 centavos per kWh.

The power firm noted that the month's overall rate is lower by 25 centavos per kWh, compared to last year's rate of PHP8.61 per kWh.

Aside from foreign exchange losses, the company also said the increase was due to the lower dispatch of the Sta. Rita Module 30, following its maintenance shutdown in November.

Charges from power supply agreements (PSAs) also went up by 22 centavos per kWh due to higher fuel costs, while the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) charges fell by 37 centavos per kWh. Lower WESM rates partly offset the higher charges from IPPs and PSAs.

Meralco sourced its capacity from IPPs at 36.4 percent, PSAs at 40.8 percent, and the WESM at 22.5 percent.

The transmission charge of residential customers meanwhile also increased by PHP0.0031 per kWh due to the higher ancillary service charge, while taxes and other charges reflected the hike by PHP0.0065 per kWh.

Meralco pointed out that its distribution charge has remained constant since July 2015. The firm added it does not earn from its pass-through charges, such as the generation and transmission charges.

The Manila Electric Co. is the largest distribution utility of the country, with more than 5.5 million customers in Luzon.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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