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House panel urged to speed up probe on energy sales

BAYAN Muna and Matuwid na Singil sa Kuryente Consumer Alliance Inc. (MSK) have urged the House Committe on Energy to fast-track its probe on the alleged P66 billion over recovery of Meralco.

The groups also asked the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and Commission on Audit (COA) to fast-track their audit of Meralco’s energy sales and purchases from 2011 to 2019.

Last August the groups alleged that Meralco purchased only 33.585 billion kwh of power in 2019 from all its generation sources including WESM but reported purchased power of 46.871 billion kwh in its annual report; the value of their generation purchases was P179 billion as disclosed to the ERC and the consumers but declared purchased power cost of P241 billion in their audited financial statements; the effective DSM (distribution, supply, and metering) revenue of Meralco in 2019 was P2.05 per kwh compared to the ERC approved P1.38 per kwh; since May 2010, Meralco’s gross profit skyrocketed to almost double to P50 billion average from 2010 to 2014. For the years 2015 to 2018 it averaged P60.24 billion. In 2019, gross profits skyrocketed to P69.066 billion and the allegedpattern of Meralco declaring higher energy sales than what they actually purchased started in 2011.

Bayan Muna Chairman Neri Colmenares said that they are concerned that this is a violation of the regulatory rule that power generation would only be a pass-on charge to the consumers. This means Meralco should only be declaring as sales the actual kwh and value they purchased and that the Congress Energy Committe should follow through with its initial investigation.

During the last three years of the former owners, the declared kwh energy sales from 2008 to 2010 were even lower than the purchased generation quantity in kwh, in evident better compliance with the pass on charging for power generation, MSK said. Meralco’s average gross profit then was P27.07 billion a year.

All of MSK’s data came from the Meralco monthly filings of generation costs to the ERC from 2008 to 2019, Annual Reports and Audited Financial Statements of Meralco for the same years.

We hope that the ERC can also be requested to validate Meralco’s declared purchases and costs of generation and the energy sales to each of the customer class,” said MSK convenor David Celestra Tan.

The consumer group expects that a validation of all these numbers can lead to the correction of the distribution charges of Meralco to the residential and commercial customers.