Manila Philippines — Meralco, the largest power distributor in the Philippines, has announced an increase in electricity rates for June. Customers can expect to pay ₱11.9112 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), which is a ₱0.4183 increase from May’s rate of ₱11.4929 per kWh. The upward adjustment equates to around ₱84 for residential customers consuming 200 kWh. This is due to the completion of the distribution-related refund in May, according to a statement from the company. Meralco implemented four distribution rate true-up adjustments totaling ₱48.3 billion from March 2021 to May 2023. The lower generation charge offsets the increase in power rates.

Meralco’s Head of Regulatory Management Office Jose Ronald Valles said that the refunds have benefited the customers over the past two years by helping to temper increases in their electricity bills during times of financial distress and uncertainty. Despite the hike, the company’s customers have already enjoyed the benefits of the refunds.

The decrease in generation charge is attributed to the lower costs incurred by Meralco’s power supply agreements (PSAs) and independent power producers (IPPs). The PSAs decreased by ₱0.5871 per kWh, while the IPPs dropped by ₱0.5854 per kWh. These factors helped mitigate the ₱2.0187 per kWh increase in Wholesale Electricity Spot Market charges due to tight supply conditions in Luzon.

Meralco is encouraging customers to conserve energy to help reduce their monthly electricity bills. The company provides tips on how to save energy, such as using LED bulbs, unplugging appliances when not in use, and setting air conditioning units’ temperature to 25°C. Meralco also offers a pre-paid electricity plan, allowing customers to manage their energy consumption.

While Meralco’s rate hike may come as a surprise to some customers, the company explained that it was necessary to complete the distribution-related refund in May. The low charges from PSAs and IPPs helped mitigate the increase in power rates. With the ongoing pandemic and economic uncertainty, Meralco encourages customers to save energy and manage their consumption wisely.