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Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) customers continue to enjoy lower power rates in the first three months of the year, as average retail rates dropped by Php0.29 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) compared to the same period last year. 

Atty. Jose Ronald V. Valles, Meralco FVP and Regulatory Management Head, said average retail rate amounted to Php7.82 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in the first quarter from Php8.11/kWh during the same period last year.

“The decrease in retail rates was attributed to a 5.6 percent decrease in generation charge owing to the implementation of new power supply agreements in February, lower WESM and fuel prices and the peso appreciation,” he added.

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Lower generation and transmission cost and the systems loss over/under-recovery rate (SLOUR) refund approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) resulted in a 21.04 percent reduction in system loss charge.

The FIT-Allowance recorded a nine-percent drop resulting in lower the FIT-All rate since January 2021 compared to the same period last year. Transmission charge posted a 0.5 percent decrease in transmission charges due to the ERC-approved transmission over/under recovery (TOUR) implemented since the start of the year.

Meralco however saw a 7.1 percent uptick in distribution charge to Php1.54/kWh owing to the shift in customer consumption due to quarantine protocols implemented during the Covid-19 pandemic. Residential sales went up, while non-residential operated at lower load factors, which led to higher residential sales share in the first three months compared to the same period last year.

Valles explained that with residential distribution rate higher than compared for other customers, higher residential sales results in a higher overall average rate. 

“While we continue to work to keep the lights on, we are also cognizant of the challenges our ‘kababayan’ face during these trying time. Thus, we continue to find ways of providing electricity at the least possible cost to our customers,” Joe R. Zaldarriaga, Meralco Vice President and Corporate Communications Head, said.

Power costs in Metro Manila – which tracked its lowest level in March – significantly contributed to the easing of inflation rate in the National Capital Region. The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) shared that inflation rate in the region dropped 3.7 percent in March from 4.1 percent in February, as the annual increments for electricity, gas, housing, water and other fuel groups dropped to 0.3 percent from 0.9 percent in the same period last year.  

In 2020, the average retail rate amounted to Php7.96/kWh, a 10 percent drop from Php8.87/kWh in 2019.

Data from the Energy Regulatory Commission, Meralco’s retail rate last year was the 77th highest compared to its peers. It was followed by the Davao Light and Power Company, which registered Php7.86/kWh.


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