Consumers cautioned that power rates likely to shoot up this summer

By , on February 19, 2015

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MANILA – Consumers have been warned by power corporations that rates are likely to increase this summer, due to the 30-day maintenance shutdown of the Malampaya natural gas plant. The month-long shutdown of the facility is scheduled to take place in March 2015, for the integration of the Phase 3 platform.

As such, rates will probably spike by as much as P1 per kilowatt-hour,.Luis Miguel Aboitiz, the president of the Philippine Independent Power Producers Association (PIPPA), said.

“Once the gas plants shift to liquid fuel, there’s around P1 per kWh automatic increase,” Aboitiz explained.

“I guarantee that there will be a spike because that happens whenever Malampaya shuts down,” he added.

Aboitiz noted, however, that the rate increase will not be “as bad as 2013”, on account of a “lower primary cap at the WESM [Wholesale Electricity Spot Market] and a secondary cap.”

Meanwhile, Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) vice president and head of utility economics Lawrence Fernandez, pointed out that the rate increase would probably be applied in the April-May electricity bills of consumers.

Fernandez noted, though, that the amount of increase would still be pegged “on the prices of fuel during that period.”