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Residential electricity rates up by P0.86/kWh for May-June billing

Residential customers of Visayan Electric will experience an increase of P0.86/kWh in their May-June electricity billing. The increase is attributed to high generation rates due to price hikes in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) in April brought about by power supply concerns in the Visayas Grid.

As a result, the overall residential electricity rate will climb from P11.28/kWh last month to P12.14/kWh this month. For households with an average monthly consumption of 200 kWh, this translates to an additional expense of P172 on their upcoming bill.

“Generation rates are pass-through charges that are paid to power generation companies through WESM,” explained Visayan Electric President and Chief Operating Officer Engr. Raul C. Lucero.

Last April, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines had issued several yellow and red alerts in both the Luzon and Visayas grids due to power supply issues. According to the NGCP, several power plants at that time were on forced outage or were experiencing derated capacities. This, while different areas in the Visayas experienced unprecedented extreme heat that increased the demand for electricity.

Once red alerts are issued due to power supply concerns, diesel power plants, which are more expensive to operate compared to coal power plants, would usually be asked to supply power to meet grid requirements, causing high power prices in WESM.

To prevent such occurrences in the future, no less that President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. asked the ERC to suspend WESM once red alerts are issued to control power prices. This, however, will take effect only this month.

With this, Visayan Electric urges its consumers to be mindful of their power consumption. “I strongly encourage our customers to intensify their power conservation efforts. Power conservation not only lessens our consumption but also helps us lessen the possibility of rotational brownouts in times when there are power supply issues,” Lucero said, adding that “practicing mindfulness in matters concerning our electricity consumption also helps us anticipate electricity rate increases and prevents bill shock.”


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