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Meralco to refund customers in March

Manila Standard

Power distributor Manila Electric Company would refund its customers for generation charges on the back of recent adjustments in Malampaya gas prices.

Meralco senior vice president Ronald Valles said it has received guidance from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on the refund.

“Based on ERC’s guidance, we are ready to implement a refund in generation charges corresponding to the increase in the Malampaya gas price of First Gas plants for January supply month,” Valles said.

The ERC earlier asked Meralco to validate the costs from its power suppliers before passing these to consumers.

This developed as ERC renewed its call on distribution utilities to remain diligent in validating costs being imposed by generation companies.

The regulator said it has not been provided with the results of Meralco’s validation even while the power distributor admitted that a validation of the impact of the use of liquefied natural gas and the new gas supply contracts is necessary in light of the terms of its power purchase agreements (PPAs).

“On the basis of the foregoing, we are constrained from giving any clearance for the recovery of such costs if Meralco itself has not completed its validation or provided the results of such validation to the Commission. Pending Meralco’s validation of the basis of such charges, passing on such costs to the consumers may be premature,” ERC chairperson and chief executive Monalisa Dimalanta said.

“In recent decisions issued by the ERC involving pass-through generation charges, the ERC reminds all distribution utilities that their duty does not end when electric power is supplied, and the charges have been collected,” Dimalanta added.

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