MERALCO Rates Up This Month

The power distributor, Manila Electric Railroad and Light Company (MERALCO), announced yesterday that their customers would have to shoulder higher electricity rates for this month.

Compared from the previous month of having P5.33 per kilowatt-hour, MERALCO’s generation charge will be P5.66, an increase of 33 centavos per kilowatt-hour for the billing month of April.

“Charges from WESM, which contributed seven percent to MERALCO’s power requirements, were higher by P2.46 per kwh compared to the level in the previous month,” the power distributor said.

“The output of hydroelectric plants declined last month, prompting the grid to rely on more expensive oil-based power plants to meet power requirements,” MERALCO added.

A data from MERALCO showed that there was a peak demand for the Luzon grid and rose by more than 300 megawatts (MW) at the beginning of summer.

MERALCO uttered that temporarily the power generation charge of IPPs went up by 24 centavos per kilowatt-hour after a mechanical difficulty that limits the utilization of the 460 megawatts (MW) Quezon Power coal plant.

IPPs interpreted a 44% of MERALCO’s power requirements for the supply month of March.

The price increase wasn’t able to offset due to the nine-centavo per kilowatt-hour decline in the generation charge of National power Corporation, which accounted for 49% of the total supply.

The electricity bill’s biggest component, which is the generation charge, accounts for 56% of the customer’s average monthly power bill. This charge goes directly to MERALCO’s power suppliers.

MERALCO said that the cost of power traded by generating companies could change monthly, based on several external factors such as the supply-demand situation, foreign exchange rate and furl prices.

The consumers need to be efficient in using energy among traditionally higher consumption during the summer season.

Power usage typically rise in dry seasons as appliances work doubly hard in this conditions and more household members are just staying indoor during the summer period.

Meralco plans as retail electricity supplier

Not taking any chances of getting toppled from its current position as dominant electricity provider, utility giant Manila Electric Company (Meralco) takes another step forward with its planned foray as retail electricity supplier.

Meralco Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Manuel M. Lopez clearly set out the company’s direction, when he said that “we stand by our earlier decision to enter into retail electricity supply with the Power Supply Option Program likely to be implemented next year.”

Evidently, the company is steadfastly preparing for the advent of open access, or the regime that will finally open up the deregulated power industry into a competitive setting. This will kick off with the big-ticket users, like industries, which will finally have that once-elusive choice on getting their preferred electricity suppliers.

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Meralco stock dives on fear of SEC probe

AFTER POSTING A RECORD-BREAKING RALLY PAST the P300-per share mark on Wednesday, Meralco shares yesterday took a dive at the stock market on concerns that stock price had gone up too fast too soon.

Meralco’s stock price tumbled by P54, or 18.3 percent, to close at P241 yesterday, leading the main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index lower.

Some traders said the sell-off was partly due to fears that the Philippine Stock Exchange and Securities and Exchange Commission would soon conduct a probe on the trading of Meralco shares on suspicion of price manipulation.

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Meralco nearly completes P8-B refund

Giant utility firm Manila Electric Company (Meralco) is now completing the last stretch of its refund to industrial customers, the remaining payout of which amounts to P8.0 billion out of the P30 billion previously ordered by the Supreme Court.

We still have around P8.0 billion refund to our industrial customers. Most of them opted for PDCs (post-dated cheques), Meralco first vice president and treasurer Rafael L. Andrada said.

He added that the overall refund process will be completed by 2011, which is still in keeping with the high court’s mandate.

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Top 20 time-management tips to live by

MANILA – “Life is a never-ending series of activities. So it’s not really what you’re doing, but the purpose of what you are doing,” said time-management expert Arthur Luis Florentin.

For him, time management is not just about doing things faster, but budgeting your time so that it gives you better results and maximum satisfaction from your life.

Florentin learned how to manage his time the hard way. After retiring from his executive position at the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) power company this year, he found himself without a secretary who would schedule his activities for him.

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Meralco plans broadband via power lines service

Top electricity distributor Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) said it plans to use its power lines to deliver broadband Internet service, a company statement said Monday.

The move is expected to make the Internet more accessible in the country, where only 20 million out of the population of 90 million can go online. .

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PLDT-Lopez alliance clinches control of Meralco’s board, management

Like last year, the Meralco Theater was packed with people who were eager to take part in the much-awaited annual stockholders’ meeting of the country’s largest power distributor.

But contrary to what many were probably expecting, the event ended the same way typical annual meetings do— without all the grandstanding and drama that transpired during last year’s 12-hour long meeting.

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Summer heat makes Luzon grid power supply extremely tight

The sweltering heat of summer set off dramatic spikes in electricity demand that have been causing extreme tightness in supply, forcing sporadic load shedding in the Luzon grid.

Power industry stakeholders observed that the precarious situation in the power system of the country’s major grid could be an indication that actions have been coming too late for the Arroyo administration to spare the country from another power crisis situation.

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SC junks GSIS petition on Meralco proxies row

BAGUIO CITY–The Supreme Court’s (SC) Second Division on Friday junked a petition of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) seeking to uphold a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) cease and desist order (CDO) involving the solicitations of proxies in the annual stockholders’ meeting of Manila Electric Company (Meralco) last year.

In the decision penned by SC Associate Justice Dante Tinga, the court ruled that it is the regional trial court and not SEC that has jurisdiction over the question proferred by GSIS involving the solicitation of proxies in the Meralco stockholders meeting.

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Electricity rates surge as Meralco cites summer heat

THE Philippines’ largest electricity distributor jacked up its rates in its franchise, blaming the increase on rising temperatures that have driven up power consumption.

“There was marked increase in consumption during the peak hours of 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. in March as consumers coped with the summer heat through more intensive use of air-conditioning and other cooling appliances,” Joe Zaldarriaga, Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) external communications official, said.

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