Expect higher charges in your electricity bills this April and May, the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) said.
Rates are expected to increase in these billing months because of the 30-day shutdown of the Malampaya natural gas plant. A maintenance work on the facility will start on March 15.
The Luzon grid is dependent on Malampaya facility which fuels three other power plants - Sta. Rita, San Lorenzo, and Ilijan. It also fuels around 40% to 50% of Luzon's power requirements. Thus, these power plants will need to shift to more expensive liquid fluid during the shutdown.
Another contributing factor would be greater demands during the summer months of April and May.
Power rates is expected to jack up by at least P1 per kilotatt hour (kWh), the Philippine Independent Power Producers Association, Incorporated (PIPPA) had said.
Meralco however said that power rates for March went down due to lower generation and transmission charges. The distribution charge though did not change and had been at the same level since July 2014.
Meralco also reminded the public to observe these energy efficiency tips:
- Set the air conditioner's thermostat from high cool (18°C) to mid-cool (25°C). By doing so, customers may save up to P280 ($6.33) per month.
- Regularly clean electric fans to prevent it from accumulating dust. Doing so would save around 3% in electricity costs. Likewise, adjusting fan settings to low speed can save 12% to 23%.
- Iron large batch of clothing at one time can also save on energy costs. Thus, schedule ironing on morning of weekends when the demand for electricity is low. Switch the iron off in the last few minutes of ironing. The remaining heat will be enough to press lighter materials.
[Photo: Manila Bulletin]