Meralco rates slightly lower in June

Robie de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines – The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) on Monday announced a slight downward adjustment for June, following months of spike in power rates.

In an advisory, Meralco said it will reduce rates by two centavos per kilowatt-hour (kWh) this month, bringing rates to P8.7252 per kWh to P8.746 per kWh in May.

This translates to a reduction of P4.00 in the billing of households consuming 200 kWh per month, P6.00 for 300 kWh, P8.00 for 400 kWh and P11.00 for those using 500 kWh a month.

“This month’s total rate is also the lowest since February 2018,” the advisory read.

“Because of the very significant reduction in power demand in its service area during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified ECQ period, MERALCO invoked the force majeure provision in its power supply agreements for the duration of the lockdown, reducing fixed charges for generation capacity that would have been charged by suppliers,” it added.

In a separate statement, Meralco spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga explained that if not for the move to invoke the force majeure provision, “generation charge and the total rate would have increased by 18 centavos and 24 centavos respectively.”

Meralco also repeated its previous announcement that customers will receive two electricity bills this month – their regular bill that reflects their actual consumption and the “installment payment plan” bill for those who have yet to pay they March to May billings.

“In accordance with the directive of the Energy Regulatory Commission, ang nire-require na payment ni customer is just 1/4 of the June bill… They are just required to pay 1/4 not earlier than June 30 and then the 3/4 balance would be divided into either 4 or 6 months depending on the kilowatt hour consumption nito pong February 2020,” Agnes Macob, head of Meralco Commercial Operations, said.

The utility firm said that clients consuming 200 kWh and below are qualified for the 6-month installment plan while those who are using 200 kWh and up bill be given four months to settle their accounts.

Customers may settle their unpaid bill every 15th of the month, starting June 15.

Meralco assured it will give consideration to those who cannot pay their bills yet due to the effects of the community quarantine and that their power supply will not be disconnected. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Mon Jocson)

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