Meralco Rates: A Review of Fairness and Reasonableness

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The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) has responded to recent allegations that its rates are higher compared to rural electric cooperatives in the provinces. The power firm, which serves 7.7 million customers, emphasized that its rates undergo a strict review process to ensure fairness and reasonableness.

In a statement to The Manila Times, Meralco addressed the claim made by Philippine Rural Electric Cooperative Association (Philreca) Rep. Presley de Jesus that smaller electric cooperatives charge significantly lower rates than Meralco. De Jesus cited rates ranging from P6.50 to P8 per kilowatt-hour for rural electric cooperatives, while Meralco charges P12 per kilowatt-hour.

Meralco clarified that these allegations were “misleading” and highlighted its transparent monthly rate adjustments. The company has consistently provided context for the reasons behind rate movements. Additionally, Meralco recently announced a significant rate reduction of 80 centavos per kWh for December, effectively offsetting the combined increases of the past two months.

The power firm also emphasized its proactive approach to securing the least cost supply for consumers. International Energy Consultants (IEC) recognized Meralco’s power supply agreements as a key factor in managing rate increases over the past five years. The IEC deemed Meralco’s rates “fair and reasonable” in comparison to the entire industry.

Meralco further addressed the comparison between electricity prices in the provinces and its own rates. The company pointed out that rates vary among private distributors and electric cooperatives across the country. It emphasized that its rates are not the highest when considering the entire industry. Meralco’s commitment to meeting regulator-set guaranteed service levels ensures stable and reliable electricity service for its 7.8 million customers.

Regarding concerns about encroaching on areas with established electrical franchises, Meralco denied any wrongdoing. The utility clarified that it does not serve areas covered by different franchises established by Congress. While some local government units and businesses may approach Meralco to take over due to high rates and unreliable service, the company respects the boundaries set by these franchises.

Meralco has faced criticism over the size of its franchise and allegations of overcharging customers. However, the company has consistently denied these claims. Sta. Rosa City Rep. Danilo Ramon Fernandez proposed splitting Meralco’s mega franchise into three smaller franchises to better serve customers. While this proposal is under consideration, Meralco remains committed to addressing customer concerns and providing reliable electricity service.

In conclusion, Meralco emphasizes its commitment to fair and reasonable rates, transparent rate adjustments, and securing the least cost supply for its customers. The company acknowledges the varying rates across the industry and highlights the stability and reliability of its electricity service. Meralco also clarifies its adherence to established electrical franchises and denies any encroachment. As discussions continue regarding the company’s franchise, Meralco remains dedicated to meeting customer needs and ensuring a reliable power supply.

Source: The Manila Times

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