Electricity bills to reflect P100 reduction this month

UNTV News   •   January 11, 2018   •   4732

MANILA, Philippines – Power rates are expected to go down by more than 50 centavos per kilowatt hour this January.

According to the Manila Electric Company or Meralco, the prices of electricity went down in the market that lowered generation charges.

Households consuming 200 kilowatt per hour can expect a P100 decrease in its electricity bill.

While those consuming 500-kilowatt per month will have a P200 decrease in their bills.

Although power rates will go down this month, it is expected to increase by 8 centavos per kilowatt hour beginning next month.

The increase is due to the implementation of excise tax on coal products.

The power distributor explains 31% to 33% of their power source comes from coal, and a huge chunk comes from natural gas.

“For the coal power plants that supply to Meralco we are coordinating with them to check on their coal stocks. Because the excise taxes applies only for purchases of coal this 2018…so the effect of excise tax will become staggered,” Utilities and Economics Head Larry Fernandez said.

But aside from the hike in power rates due to the excise tax, the electricity bills are expected to increase until summer.

“Come summer months particularly march onwards that is when consumption starts to rise and given that situation there is pressure for prices to go up as well, we still need to continue exercising energy efficiency and make sure this become a way of life,” Meralco spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga said.

Salon owner, Ivy Esteban is now preparing for the expected increase in power rates.

They are conserving electricity by limiting their use of appliances with strong power consumption. However, they might opt to increase the prices of their services if electricity rates go up.

“The public can understand it. Of course, our bill also goes up,” Esteban said.

Meralco said they have already filed a petition to the Energy Regulatory Commission to allow them to purchase electricity from renewable sources which are cheaper than coal. – Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue

Meralco reminds deadline for outstanding bills until Jan. 31

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) has reminded its customers that the deadline for paying outstanding bills is on January 31.

Meralco Spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga said the electric company already provided sufficient time since its disconnection policy was temporarily suspended to help customers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, Zaldarriaga said customers can still appeal for an extension through Meralco’s business centers.

He added that they are mulling over the recommended extension of the installment scheme in paying power bills.

We’ve already given iyong ample time. One year na ang—almost one year na magmula noong we stopped disconnecting since March and although, pinag-aaralan pa rin naman natin and on a case-to-case basis ay humahanap tayo ng paraan para tulungan iyong iba pang customers (We’ve already given ample time. Almost one year since we stopped disconnecting since March. Although we are still looking into ways to assist other customers on a case-to-case basis), he said.

Zaldarriaga also reiterated the importance of paying on time in order for the electric company to continue its operation and provide service to its customers. AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr)

Meralco urged to extend installment payment scheme for customers

Robie de Guzman   •   January 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Risa Hontiveros on Tuesday called on power distributor Manila Electric Company (Meralco) to extend its installment-based payment scheme to help its customers cope with economic difficulties due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hontiveros said implementing stricter payment policies might lead to a “disconnected nation” that will make life harder for poor families and derail efforts to revive the country’s economy.

“Hindi maganda na ngayong 2021, maliban sa COVID-19 ay magkaroon din ng epidemiya ng tanggalan ng kuryente sa ating bansa,” she said in a statement.

“Mas mahihirapan umahon ang bansa mula sa pandemya at sa bagsak na ekonomiya kung mas maraming Pilipino ang mapuputulan ng kuryente sa kanilang mga kabahayan dahil sa mga polisiya ng Meralco,” she added.

Meralco earlier announced it has begun sending out notices of disconnection to customers using 201 kilowatt-hours and more per month, and those who are behind in their monthly payments.

The power distributor also said it will be hiking power rates up to P8.7497 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) this year, which means that an average household consuming 200 kWh per month will be charged around an additional ₱55 in their bill.

Hontiveros said the disconnection policy combined with new rate adjustment in the generation charge is on top of the already high regular monthly electricity bills consumers must pay.

“Itong anunsyo ng MERALCO ay mistulang one-two-three punch sa ating mga kawawang consumer, na marami ngayon ay knock-out na sa mga utang, mahal na bilihin at kakulangan ng hanapbuhay dahil sa pandemya,” she said.

“Mas malaki na ang singil ng kuryente, andiyan pa ang panganib na matanggalan ng kuryente kapag hindi nakabayad ng buo. Baka maulit o mas malala ito sa ‘bill shock’ last year na inalmahan ng ating mga kababayan noong 2020,” she added.

Hontiveros expressed hope that MERALCO will stick to its corporate motto of “May liwanag ang buhay,” and work with the government towards programs that will prevent the denial of power services to many Filipinos who are struggling amid the pandemic.

“Electricity is an essential need lalo na ngayong may pandemya. Hindi siguro kalabisan na humiling pa ng makatwirang palugit. Bago ang lahat, kapakanan muna ng ating mga kababayan ang pangunahin na mas dapat inuuna, bago ang kita,” the senator said.

She also advised the power firm to work with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and explore the possibility of extending its debt restructuring program, which offers flexible or staggered payment options for consumers who are having difficulties paying their monthly power bills so that they could avoid disconnection.

“Siguro naman, hindi hamak na may kapasidad ang MERALCO, ang mga power suppliers at kanilang mga bangko na i-manage ang problema sa utang kumpara sa pinapasan ng mga consumers ngayon,” she said.

“Accommodating this installment-based payment scheme will also ensure that more Filipinos will not get disconnected and will remain as MERALCO’s customers, which will be beneficial in the long run,” she added.

Meralco extends no-disconnection policy until January 31, 2021

Maris Federez   •   December 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) shall be extending its no-disconnection policy until January 31, 2021.

This was announced by House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco yesterday referring to his letter to Meralco management dated November 30, requesting the electric company to consider such extension.

In a statement, Velasco said extending Meralco’s no-disconnection policy is in keeping with the “bayanihan” spirit amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“The extended grace period being given to our fellow Filipinos during the holiday season will provide much needed reprieve to those reeling from the devastating effects of the pandemic and natural calamities,” Velasco said.

In response, Meralco President and CEO Atty. Ray Espinosa informed Velasco in a December 14 letter that the company will extend its no-disconnection policy for unpaid bills from December 31, 2020 to January 31, 2021.

Espinosa said that the extended grace period will benefit over 3 million customers or 47 percent of the company’s total customer base.

“We hope that by this extended grace period to our customers, much needed relief and reprieve is provided to the most disadvantaged MERALCO franchise customers during this holiday season amidst the Covid-19 pandemic,” Espinosa’s letter to the House Speaker read.

Velasco, in turn, thanked Espinosa for “showing true bayanihan spirit and empathizing with the plight of our indigent countrymen.”

“This is how we overcome the devastating effects of this pandemic, with leaders from both private and public sectors working together to make lives better,” he added. — /mbmf


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