Meralco sees increase in generation charge for May

MANILA Electric Co. (Meralco) said it expects an increase in power costs from suppliers this month due to higher prices in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).

“This is mainly due to higher WESM prices brought about by the tight supply condition, as power demand surged along with higher heat indices,” Meralco said in a statement on Thursday.

Peak demand in Luzon rose by about 2,400 megawatts compared with the March supply month, the power distributor said.

The generation charge mostly makes up the bulk of a consumer’s monthly bill.

For April, typical households saw a nearly P1 decrease in their monthly electricity bill for the first time this year due to a sharp drop in generation and transmission charges.

The power distributor cut the overall rate by P0.9879 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to P10.9518 per kWh in April from P11.9397 in March.

Meralco Spokesperson Joe R. Zaldarriaga has said that there is a possibility of an increase in power rates for May as high demand adds pressure to the WESM, the trading floor for electricity.

“We continue to remind the public to practice energy efficiency to have better management over their power consumption and electricity bills,” the energy company said.

Meralco’s controlling stakeholder, Beacon Electric Asset Holdings, Inc., is partly owned by PLDT Inc.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has an interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera