By Luzel L. Danganan
MANILA, July 10 (PNA) – The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on Friday temporarily allowed the Manila Electric Company (Meralco’s) to lower its distribution charges by 17 centavos per kilowatthour (kWh) from the current rate.
”The ERC granted on July 10, 2015 (Friday), the Meralco’s prayer for provisional authority to implement lower distribution, supply and metering charges,” the regulatory body said in a statement Friday.
The ERC noted the 17 centavos/kWh reduction is 11.26 percent of the current average rate of Meralco at Php 1.56 that expired last June.
The billing item, distribution charge, consists of the plain distribution charge, supply charge and metering charges.
For the distribution charge, the new rate is 1.01/kWh, supply charge is 22 centavos/kWh and metering charge is 14 centavos/kWh. Thus, the total updated Meralco distribution charge amounts to Php 1.38/kWh.
The ERC orders the new rates are applied to the July billings.
Meralco initially applied for a Php 1.39/kWh rate, but the ERC added a reduction of Php .013/kWh to remove the allowance for net efficiency that was charged due to the former rates.
The ERC said it ensured Meralco would not over-collect from its customers.
ERC Chairperson Zenaida Ducut said the lower distribution charge “will surely mitigate possible increases in the other components of Meralco’s rates.”
She cited the new rate would tame the high power bills last month, which occurred due to the tight supply and the Malampaya’s gas supply restrictions.
Last year, the ERC also approved a lower distribution charge from Php 1.65 kWh to Php 1.56/kWh that was also petitioned by Meralco. (PNA)