ERC issues new rules for meter testing and installation


Zenaida G. Cruz-Ducut,
Chair of the ERC
Manila, Philippines — (METERING.COM) — July 1, 2009 – The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) of the Philippines has recently approved new regulations for the testing and maintenance of meters and for their installation and relocation.

Under Resolution 12 of 2009 (“Rules and Procedures for the Test and Maintenance of Electric Meters of Distribution Utilities”), the distribution utilities (DUs) are required to ensure that all electric meters that are put into service have been tested and sealed by the ERC. Meters that are already in service must be tested in an approved meter shop at least once every two years in accordance with a statistical sampling program approved by the ERC.

The DUs are also required, individually or in groups, to maintain a meter shop with specified testing equipment for the routine testing, repair, and calibration of electric meters and other auxiliary devices. Applications for certificates of authority for meter shops must be applied for within six months and will have a validity of three years, with renewal subject to a review.

Currently the ERC’s own personnel and meter laboratory are utilized for the testing and calibration of the DUs’ meters. The move to have routine testing and calibration of meters done by the DUs themselves will considerably shorten the process turnaround time, the ERC says in a statement.

Under Resolution 11 of 2009 (“Rules to Govern the Installation and Relocation of Residential Electric Meters by Distribution Utilities…”) the DUs are enabled to install and relocate meters to “elevated metering centers” under certain circumstances. These are when there is no right of way, in areas with informal settlers or with a high incidence of illegal connections, meter vandalism or tampering, for habitual pilferers, and on request from a customer.

An elevated metering center would normally contain a cluster of meters and must be mounted more than 3 m above the surface on which one would normally stand to inspect or repair the meter. To read the meters the DUs are required to use either basket trucks to hoist the meter reader and the customer’s representative or video cameras with a zoom-in facility.

ERC chairperson Zenaida G. Cruz-Ducut promised that the ERC would closely monitor the operations of meter shops to ensure their strict compliance to the rules and procedures.

“For the protection of all consumers, it will see to it that every meter undergoing testing and calibration maintains an accuracy level that has an error tolerance of nearly zero,” continued Cruz-Ducut, adding: “The elevated metering center rules seek to ensure the highest level of compliance with safety standards and adequate protection of consumer interests and consequently reduce the system loss of DUs.”