by Lenie Lectura – February 27, 2016
from Business Mirror
THE Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) installed more than 17,000 prepaid meters in 2015 out of the 40,000 units that were approved for roll out by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
“We’ve closed the year with 17,700. We are about to install more and probably end this month with about 22,000 prepaid meters,” Meralco Senior Vice President Alfredo Panlilio said in a news briefing.
The prepaid meters are part of the utility company’s Prepaid Retail Electricity Service or PRES which enables customers to monitor their electricity consumption, balance, credit-purchase history and account information.
Panlilio said those who subscribed to Meralco PRES have experienced savings in their power consumption compared to postpaid service. “They are able to save about 18 percent,” the Meralco official said.
Pilot tests for the PRES were conducted starting February 2014. PRES is now available in Manila, and parts of Angono, Taytay and Cainta in Rizal provinces. Manila is fully covered.
Meralco has tapped General Electric as the system integrator for the advanced metering structure of the service; Orga Systems for the billing aspect of the service; and Ecologic Analytics for the meter
Customers may purchase credits—in denominations of P100, P200, P300, P500 or P1,000—at Meralco business centers, Bayad Center outlets and participating retail outlets like sari–sari stores, convenience stores, drugstores and department stores.
Aside from individual customers, the power distributor is offering its retail electricity service to housing projects in Metro Manila and in the towns of Taytay, Cainta and Angono in Rizal.
Meralco continues to persuade property developers to utilize prepaid electricity meters in their housing projects. “We are talking to a lot of developers like SMDC [SM Development Corp.] and Megaworld. There are still others. They are exploring it,” Panlilio said.
Property developer 8990 Holdings Inc. earlier tapped Meralco’s PRES in its project sites.
Meralco and 8990 Holding signed a memorandum of agreement for the implementation of PRES in the developer’s projects starting with Bella Vista, which is under its Deca Homes brand.
Meralco President Oscar Reyes said 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.
The utility provider is awaiting further approval from the ERC for an additional 100,000 reloadable power meters.