Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), the country’s largest power distributor, can now roll out its Prepaid Retail Electric Service (PRES) also known as Kuryente Load in more places within its franchise area.
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) had given Meralco the green light to offer and provide PRES to customers in its franchise area, saying the power distributor’s application was compliant with provisions of the PRES Rules mandated by the commission.
According to the ERC, Meralco’s prepaid metering system complies with the commission’s loading requirements and monitoring and warning mechanism.
Kuryente Load is Meralco’s newest innovation, allowing its customers to save up to 20 percent in electricity expenses.
Under the Kuryente Load prepaid service, customers are allowed
to monitor and control their consumption through daily balance notifications.
Meralco said Kuryente Load has made electricity more affordable through denominations of as low as P100.
Through multiple loading channels such as Meralco business centers, Bayad Center outlets and eload retailers, customers can reload anytime, anywhere.
“There are no service fees, no bill deposit and no meter installation fee, making it more accessible for the previously unserved customers,” the utility said.
During its pilot implementation, the service was initially offered in Manila and in some portions of Angono, Taytay and Cainta towns in Rizal province.
With the approval of the business rules, Meralco will now be able to implement the commercial roll-out of Kuryente Load to more sites within its franchise area.
The ERC also directed Meralco to use an Advanced Metering Infrastructure Integrated Solution (AMI-IS).
AMI-IS is a system that allows customers to monitor their electricity consumption, balance, loading history and account information.
Meralco’s prepaid metering system is capable of operating with different brands of meters.
The meters to be used, which are also compliant and type-approved with standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), will be provided by Meralco and shall be tested and sealed by the ERC prior to their installation in service.
Moreover, Meralco’s SMS notifications (short messaging system) is a valid monitoring mechanism.
The ERC decision also states that retail rates for Kuryente Load shall be the effective postpaid retail rate at the particular month the credited load was consumed.
Aside from residential customers, local and national government institutions, such as the National Housing Authority and Philippine National Police, have also started shifting to prepaid electricity to help them with budget management.