30,000 Meralco prepaid meters ready for installation this year

by Lenie LecturaJune 28, 2016

from Business Mirror

THE Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) will rollout within the year 30,000 more prepaid meters, following an approval secured from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for the installation of an additional 100,000 smart meters.

“Next is 30,000 by year-end, on top of the 40,000 that’s been approved initially,” Meralco Senior Vice President Alfredo Panlilio said in an interview.

The smart meters are part of the utility firm’s Prepaid Retail Electricity Service (PRES), which enables customers to monitor their electricity consumption, balance, credit-purchase history and account information.

Panlilio said those who subscribed to Meralco’s PRES have experienced savings in their power consumption compared to postpaid service. “They are able to save about 18 percent,” the Meralco official said.

Meralco has, so far, installed some 27,000 prepaid meters as of last month out of the 40,000 units that were initially approved for rollout by the ERC.

Apart from the 40,000 approved meters, Meralco applied in March 2015 for an additional 100,000 smart meters. This was recently approved by the regulators as part of the utility firm’s application for regulatory year 2016 capital expenditure, which covers the July 1, 2015,-to-June 30, 2016 period.

“The approved is 105,000 smart meters.

Most of it will be prepaid, but we will be testing 5,000 meters for postpaid,” Panlilio said.

The additional prepaid meters will be installed in major cities in Metro Manila. “The prepaid-focus will be in Manila, Mandaluyong, Pasig, Makati and few land developers, such as Robinsons Land, SMDC, 8990 and Vista Land,” the Meralco official said.

Meralco continues to persuade property developers to utilize prepaid-electricity meters in their housing projects.

The 8990 Holdings Inc. already tapped Meralco’s PRES for its project sites.

Both firms have entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the implementation of PRES in 8990 Holdings’s property developments, starting with Bella Vista, which is under its Deca Homes brand.

Bella Vista is the first private subdivision enrolled in PRES, providing its homeowners a more flexible, convenient and budget-friendly option that fits a modern family lifestyle.