The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) will undertake a slight increase in its power rates this October.

Before this month, Meralco reduced its power rates for five consecutive months.

Meralco said that for a typical household, the rate would go up by P0.1212 per kilowatt-hour  (kWh) to P8.5500 per kWh this month from P8.4288 per kWh in September.

But October’s overall rate is still significantly lower by P0.5362 per kWh compared to P9.0862 per kWh in October 2019, Meralco said. Meanwhile, the net rate reduction since the start of 2020 is still over P1 per kWh, it added.

Meralco said the generation charge increased by P0.1373 per kWh to P4.2233 per kWh this October from P4.0860 per kWh a month ago. At P0.5772 per kWh total reduction since March, the October generation charge is still lower by P0.4399 per kWh.

“This month’s increase in generation charge is mainly due to higher Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) charges, brought about by tightened supply conditions and higher demand,” Meralco said. 

The power distributor said the natural gas restriction from August 28 to September 6 atMalampaya forced outage of several large plants in the first week of September, which tightened power supply conditions in the Luzon electricity grid.

“This led to WESM offer cap of P32 per kWh, the highest this year, on September 5 and 7 despite the absence of Yellow Alerts,” Meralco said.

The power distributor said higher Luzon demand and more generation capacity on outage resulted in P1.1605 per kWh increase in the WESM rate.

Meralco said if WESM prices remained at their August 2020 levels, the generation charge and the overall rate for October would have decreased by P0.08 and P0.14, respectively.

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