Meralco sales seen up in third quarter as businesses reopen

MANILA Electric Co. (Meralco) said indication of its electricity sales in the third quarter showed a 6% growth, an official of the power distributor said.

“Energy sales growth is between 6-8% per month,” Meralco Chief Commercial Officer Ferdinand O. Geluz told reporters on Friday.

He said that the main driver of the projected growth is the resumption of many businesses in August.

“This is driven by [the] commercial [segment]. Our commercial segment is bouncing back, and commercial is very important and within recovery though still below the 2019 level,” he said.

Mr. Geluz said that Meralco is also expecting its electricity sales to grow in November and to stabilize next year.

“We are seeing it to stabilize next year, and maybe to return to the 2019 level,” he added.

In the second quarter, Meralco posted P7.56 billion in net income, a 34.5% increase compared with the P5.62 billion recorded a year ago, driven by strong energy sales.

Meanwhile, Meralco’s wholly owned subsidiary MSpectrum, Inc., or Spectrum, is targeting to expand its installed capacity by yearend.

Spectrum Chief Operating Officer Patrick Henry T. Panlilio told reporters that to date, the company has installed solar panels with a total capacity of 43 megawatts (MW).

“By the end of the year, we’re hoping to reach 50 MW, at least for solar rooftop,” he said.

Mr. Panlilio said that for 2023, Spectrum is targeting to install an additional 20 MW of solar rooftop projects.

In terms of capital expenditures, he said that for every megawatt installed, the company estimates to spend around P45 million.

“The cost of a 1 MW installation usually amounts to P45 million with the current prices, maybe it could up to P50 million with foreign exchange now,” Mr. Panlilio said.

He also said that Spectrum is planning to grow the operations and maintenance side of the business.

“This is one activity or niche of ours, being a Meralco subsidiary. That’s why we are expanding this because not all of those who install solar panels are capable to maintain. Some are just doing it to sell,” Mr. Panlilio said.

Renewable energy firm Spectrum provides tailor-fit solutions for industrial, commercial, and residential customers through an in-depth understanding of energy consumption behavior. It is backed by Meralco’s energy expertise and proven safety track record.

Meralco’s controlling stakeholder, Beacon Electric Asset Holdings, Inc., is partly owned by PLDT, Inc. Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has an interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Ashley Erika O. Jose