Expect higher billing from Meralco in January

THE Manila Electric Company (Meralco) will impose an upward rate adjustment in January, resulting in higher electricity bills for consumers for the month.

In a press briefing on Friday, Meralco Vice President and Spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga said the company will impose a P0.2744 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) additional charge this month, which is equivalent to an increase of around P55 in the total bill for households consuming 200 kWh.

Meralco attributed the higher power billing on the higher generation charge in January, Zaldarriaga said.

“It’s basically due to the higher generation charge. The January 2021 (P4.4574 per kwh) generation charge is P0.3058 higher than that of December (P4.1516 per kwh) and PSAs (Power Supply Agreement) and IPPs (Independent Power Producer) increased by P0.27 and and P0.24 per kwh, respectively,” he explained.

He added demand for Meralco electricity fell to its lowest level in December last year, with peak demand in Luzon for the same month decreasing by 252 MW to 9,634 MW from 9,886 MW, mainly from cooler temperature and more non-working holidays compared to November.

Also, Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) rate dropped by P0.6135 per kWh.

Meanwhile, Zaldarriaga said that it has given its consumers enough leeway in so far as disconnections are concerned.

“If you will look at the timeline, we started the moratorium on disconnection way back in March of 2020. It has been 10 months,” he said.

“It’s about time that customers… we’re encouraging to settle already [as] it’s been quite some time. And there really is no recourse on our part but to collect considering also that we have to consider the viability of our operations as well,” Zaldarriaga added.

He clarified that Meralco has suspended disconnection up to this month for households consuming 200 kWh. CURRENTPH

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