Meralco looking to develop smart grid


MANILA Electric Co. (Meralco), the country’s largest power distribution utility, is embarking on a digital transformation by adopting new technologies, including the development of a smart grid, to better serve its customers and enhance grid reliability.

According to Meralco Chief Technology Advisor Gavin Barfield, the power company is looking to refresh its information technology (IT) systems to be able to deliver a digital customer experience. It is also embarking on the development of a smart grid.

Barfield said on Friday technology moves at a rapid pace and Meralco “must look at new disruptive technologies such as blockchain, augmented and virtual reality, edge computing, robotics, Internet of Things and artificial intelligence to deliver the next wave of improvements for our customers.”

Barfield, who addressed attendees of the third Meralco Technology and Innovation summit (MTECH), said the company has invested heavily in new technologies and will soon launch a whole new digital customer experience more suitable for the new generation of customers—the digital natives.

Meralco is currently developing mobility solutions and adding more sensors, automation, and smart meters to its network to improve reliability and enable the integration of renewables.

Last month, Meralco President Oscar Reyes told reporters in a chance interview that the company is continuously focusing its efforts on improving customer experience.

Reyes said they are investing handsomely on putting their customer service on digital platforms “because that’s how new customers are relating. Everybody’s now into the digital space.”

Last year, Meralco unveiled its Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS), enabling it to lower the impact of outages by re-routing power.

Meralco holds the largest market capitalization among listed utility and power sector companies in the country. Its units are in the business in engineering and consulting, construction, bills payments, and other electricity-related services.

Shares of Meralco on Friday dropped P4.00 to close at P319.


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