Power distributor Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) is lowering electricity rates by P1.9623 per kilowatt-hour this month instead of the earlier announced P0.6436 per kWh increase.

This followed an Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) order to stagger the collection of charges covering purchases from the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM) in four equal monthly installments until September.

The latest adjustment brought Meralco's overall electricity rate to P9.4516 per kWh in June from the previous month's P11.4139 per kWh.

Typical households consuming 200 kWh monthly can expect a decrease of around P392 in their electricity bills this month.

'We ask for the understanding of our customers over the delayed bills as we implement the newly issued order of the ERC. Rest assured that Meralco will implement adjusted due dates to give our customers enough time to pay their bills,' Meralco VP and head of corporate communications Joe Zaldarriaga said in a statement yesterday.

The adjusted rate this month reportedly reflected a P1.8308 per kWh reduction in generation charge.

Increases in transmission charge and feed-in tariff allowance were retained at P0.1450 per kWh and P0.0474 per kWh, respectively.

Generation charges are expected to increase in the next three months as 'we collect the deferred amounts on a staggered basis as a result of the recent developments,' Zaldarriaga advised Meralco customers.

'With these already deferred costs and the recent order of the ERC to also stagger the collection of WESM charges, around P0.77 per kWh will be added every month to the generation charge in the July to September bills,' he added.

Last month, Meralco electricity rates increased by P0.4621 per kWh due to higher generation charges.

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