Did your Meralco bill increase?

James Ryan Jonas

Our electric bill tripled from P700 in March to P2,000 in April. Although there was a slight increase in usage from March to April, the increase should have not been that drastic.
Other PMT Forum members are also complaining of the unexpected rise in their Meralco bills.

  • brixxx214: Ang P1,800 ng monthly na bill ko ay umabot ng P3,000!!!
  • bizzy: Sa amin, P1,500 per month naging P3,100.. tsk tsk… kaiyak!
  • bizsum: From 12k went up to 15k.  With the the sizzling heat, I expect a bigger bill next month.
  • bp22estafa: From 6,500 last Feb to 9,300 last March, then 12,800 for the latest billing.

So who’s to blame?
Mea culpa (not our fault), says Meralco. Blame it on the electricity suppliers. In a note attached to electric bills they recently sent to customers, Meralco explains:
Dear customer,
You may have noticed an increase in this month’s electric bill.
In recent months, there have been increases in the generation charge component of the electric bill. In April alone, the generation change went up by 0.93 centavos/kWh to P6.7699/kWh from P5.8417/kWh in March.
The rise in generation charges springs from the high cost of electricity that Meralco buys from its suppliers. These suppliers consist of the National Power Corporation (NCP), Independent Power Producers (IPP) and Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).
The major factor that caused the sharp rise in electricity was because of the increase in the price of WESM, a venue for trading electricity as a commodity in the spot market.
Meralco does not add any mark-up to the cost of electricity purchased from these electricity suppliers. The generation cost, which averages about 50-60% of your electric bill, goes directly to Meralco’s power suppliers and adds nothing to Meralco’s income.
If you will take a minute to examine your electric bill (found in the last column of you bill), you will note that what goes to Meralco is approximately 20-25% of your total bill. The rest go to the power suppliers for the cost of electricity, the NGCP for transmission charges, and to the Government in the form of taxes.
It may not be Meralco’s fault entirely, but they should at least lessen the burden of customers by finding ways to bring down the cost of electricity. It may be high time now, too, to look for alternative or renewable sources of energy.
How was your Meralco bill recently? How big was the increase?
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James Ryan Jonas teaches business management, investments, and entrepreneurship at the University of the Philippines (UP). He is also the Executive Director of UP Provident Fund Inc., managing and investing P3.2 Billion ($56.4 Million) worth of retirement funds on behalf of thousands of UP employees.