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Meralco rates seen to increase in June

Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) customers are likely to see a rise in their electric power bills in June, following a surge in spot market prices, an official from the firm said on Friday. 

 “Based on early, initial projections, there may be an upward pressure on the generation charge for the month of June 2021 due to observed increase in WESM (wholesale electricity spot market) prices,” Meralco Vice President and Head of Corporate Communications Joe R. Zaldarriaga said in a statement shared on Viber on Friday. 

He was referring to the spike in power prices in the WESM this month. The market operator previously reported that average spot market price more than doubled in May, reaching P7.72 per kilowatt hour (kWh) from P3.85 in April due to a surge in demand and supply disruptions. 

“WESM prices were persistently high for extended periods triggering the secondary price cap on May 4-7 and 20-22,” Mr. Zaldarriaga said. 

A secondary price cap is price-mitigating mechanism which limits high market prices. 

The Meralco executive also noted the rise in temperatures and economic activity, explaining that the Luzon grid hit a new peak of over 11,500 MW this month.  

“Average capacity on outage remained at the 3,000 MW level and the grid was placed on Yellow Alert on May 5, due to insufficient operating reserves,” he said.  

A yellow alert is issued when reserves fall below ideal levels. This is downgraded to a red alert, which brings the possibility of power interruptions, when the supply situation worsens. 

Meralco’s controlling shareholder, Beacon Electric Asset Holdings, Inc., is partly owned by PLDT, Inc. Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has an interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls.  

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