POWER distributor Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) is expanding its prepaid metering system and is targeting an additional 100,000 households.
Alfredo Panlilio, Meralco senior vice president, said they have already applied with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for approval to expand their prepaid metering scheme.
The additional 100,000 meters will be on top of the 40,000 units which will be initially offered to households in Manila.
“For this year, we filed for another 100,000 meters,” he said.
Meralco filed its first application for a prepaid metering scheme last December 12, 2014. While the first application is now overdue, Panlilio said they have decided to apply for additional units because of growing interest from consumers.
“We already applied for a one-year implementation. The 40,000 is already delayed but we want to apply for this outright,” said Panlilio.
For the initial roll-out, Panlilio said they want to make sure that they cover the Manila area.
“We’re still pushing to do the 40,000. We want to make sure that we cover Manila well so that we can go and market the prepaid [metering]. We will try to cover the entire Manila area,” he said.
Panlilio expressed confidence that they could finish the installation of the 40,000 prepaid meters by the end of the year.
“We want to finish it if not by June, then by the end of the year the latest,” he said.
Under the prepaid metering scheme, consumers monitor their electricity consumption and remaining load through smart meters. They are notified by SMS if their prepaid electricity is about to run out so that they can load up again and avoid having their power disconnected.