Press Release
July 7, 2010

As MERALCO hikes power rates anew

As power rates continue to spike, Senator Edgardo J. Angara today said that more than ever, renewable energy (RE) should take up a greater share in the country's energy generation mix. This, he said, will spare Filipino consumers from high electricity rates and perennial power rate hikes.

"In investing on the Philippines' vast RE potentials, the country could save millions in foreign reserves which could translate to lower electricity rates for ordinary Filipino consumers. In these hard times, savings generated by Filipino families from power costs could be spent on other basic needs such as food and education," said Angara who chairs the Senate committee on Science and Technology.

He added, "Ending the regime of high power rates can help the Philippines attract foreign investors, who have cited the country's high power cost as a major disincentive to investments."

Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), announced yesterday that there will be an increase in rates by 5.8 centavos per kilowatt-hour (kWh) this month due to a rise in generation charge to P5.6546 per kWh. Hence, a residential customer consuming 100 kWh a month will have to pay more by around P5.80. Those consuming 200 kWh will shoulder a higher increase of around P11.60.

Meanwhile, Angara who authored RP's RE law, proposed to subsidize the renewable energy development through amending one of the provisions in the Electric Power Industry Reform Act or otherwise known as the EPIRA law.

Under the EPIRA law, there is a provision pertaining to the universal charge that serves as an additional payment by the end users or electric consumers apart from their main electric bill. One of the purposes of this charge pertains to the missionary electrification.

According to the amendment proposed by Angara, "50% of the allocation for missionary electrification shall be utilized to subsidize renewable energy development which shall include but not limited to research, exploration, promotion and utilization of RE systems and technologies."

"To sustain growth and manage the environmental impacts, it is imperative that we put in place an enabling environment to promote clean development. The future is in clean renewable energy, which is predicted to be one of the biggest industries in the next five years. The benefits of renewable energy use are considerable: it will foster sustainable growth, energy independence and economic security for the country, and unite us with the global effort to stop climate change," said Angara.

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