Meralco applies to extend prepaid rollout by 100k

In the Philippines, energy supplier Manila Electric Co (Meralco) expects to complete an installation of 40,000 prepaid electricity meters by the end of 2014 despite admitting that it needs to speed up the processing time of customer applications for the new meters.

The commercial pilot scheme, which was approved by the country’s Energy Regulatory Commission in January 2014, has received more than 1,000 applications, of which only 140 are in service due to the application processing time taking three to four weeks.

Alfredo Panlilio, senior vice president and head of customer retail services at Meralco, said the company intends to shorten this time.

“To date, after eight weeks into commercial pilot we have 1,050 applications and we are slowly going into those applications to energize them.

“Our target is to have 2,000 prepaid meters [installed] by end-May.  Once we hit 200, we will conduct consumer research in terms of their experience of the service.”

He said the consumer research will form part of Meralco’s business model that will be submitted to the ERC.

The pilot activities, Panlilio added, will determine the viability of the planned platforms, the prepaid meters and the possible trouble-shooting mechanisms.

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