Meralco rates down anew in August

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 10) ⁠— Meralco customers may see lower electricity bills for August as the power distributor reports a sustained drop in generation charge.

Meralco announced Monday that the overall rate for households will drop by 20.55 centavos per kilowatt hour, or a headline rate of ₱8.4911 per kWh this month. This will mean a ₱41 drop in the bill of residential customers who typically consume 200 kWh of electricity in a month.

Utility rates will drop for the fifth straight month to reflect a decrease in the price of electricity in the spot market and from independent power producers, as well as the lower price of natural gas supply. Meralco attributed the downtrend in the generation charge to a better supply situation at the grid, as fewer power plants experienced outages. Power demand also eased as most Meralco-serviced areas remained under community quarantine.

Transmission charges also saw a slight dip due to lower ancillary service charges, against a modest rise in taxes and other charges.

Meralco added that the collection of the universal charge worth ₱0.0025 per kWh remains suspended, following the order of the Energy Regulatory Commission.

Power rates are down compared to the ₱9.5674 per kWh rate in August 2019. This month's power charge is also the cheapest since September 2017, Meralco said.

Last week, the utility firm said it will continue meter reading activities even after the government decided to place Metro Manila ⁠— its main service area ⁠— as well as nearby Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite under the stricter modified enhanced community quarantine rules to prevent COVID-19 infections, and asked local officials to allow its personnel to carry these out.

The major power distributor faced thousands of consumer complaints about bloated electricity bills from March to May, which it attributed to consumption estimates after meter reading activities were halted.

RELATED: Meralco to give consumers four months to complete bill payments during ECQ

Meralco encourages online bill payments to limit interactions and prevent possible transmissions.