MANILA—The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) announced that the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has approved the staggered incremental fuel cost to be charged over a period of three months beginning this March this year.
The staggered scheme would help ease the effect of the Malampaya shutdown on consumers’ bills, Meralco said.
In Meralco’s application filed last Jan. 31, 2017, the incremental liquid fuel cost was estimated at Php 2.417 billion, using certain assumptions, equivalent to around Php 0.92 per kWh.
Based on actual suppliers’ billings provided to ERC last March 3, the incremental cost was lower at Php 1.752 billion, or about Php 0.66 per kWh, the collection of which will be staggered over three months.
Overall generation charge this month increased by Php 0.58 per kWh to Php 4.90 per kWh. This already includes one-third of the differential amount computed by the ERC.
For a typical residential household, the cost will be Php 0.66 per kilowatt hour (kWh) thereby bringing the overall rate to Php 9.67 per kWh from last month’s rate of 9.00 per kWh. This translates to a Php 132 increase in the total bill of a typical residential household consuming 200 kWh per month.
The rate increase this month is mostly due to the upward movement in the generation charge, caused mainly by the 20-day Malampaya Maintenance Shutdown which took place from Jan. 28 to Feb. 16 this year.
The shutdown affected the natural gas supply to the Ilijan, Sta. Rita and San Lorenzo plants which supply an aggregate capacity of 2,565 megawatt (MW) to Meralco’s franchise area.
With the shutdown, these plants had to switch from natural gas to more expensive liquid fuel so that they can continue supplying power to the grid.
The Malampaya shutdown also coincided with the scheduled maintenance of other power plants such as SEM-Calaca Power Corp. Unit 1, Quezon Power (Philippines), Ltd., and one block of the Ilijan power plant, which collectively contributes some 1,185 MW of Meralco’s power requirements.