by Alena Mae S. Flores – August 23, 2016 at 11:15 pm
from Manila Standard Today
Manila Electric Co., the largest electricity retailer, sought approval of the Energy Regulatory Commission to roll out an additional 235,000 smart meters in its franchise area next year.
Meralco senior vice president and head of customer retail services and corporate communications Al Panlilio said the additional smart meters covered both prepaid and post-paid consumers.
Panlilio during the MTECH 2016 Exhibit and Experience Zone cited the need to increase the rollout of smart meters, which is currently close to 40,000, or less than one percent of Meralco’s nearly six million customers.
The official said the company expects subscribers to reach seven to eight million by 2024, with half using the smart meters.
Panlilio said Meralco and the Energy Regulatory Commission were trying to reduce the cost of smart meters, currently priced at around $100.
“We will continue to work with vendors—for open system—to create competition,” he said.
Smart meters allow customers to manage consumption. It is now currently used by prepaid electricity users but is expected to include postpaid users soon.
“We are utilizing the latest technology to improve our grid operations, provide more consumption information and convenience to our customers to rollout new products and services,” Meralco chief technology advisor Gavin Barfield said.
Panlilio, meanwhile, said prepaid electricity consumers who use smart meters were able to save around 18 percent of electricity costs by managing their consumption.
ERC earlier approved the rollout of100,000 smart meters for Meralco’s 2016 capital expenditure budget.