Cebu, The Philippines — (METERING.COM) — February 20, 2008 – Visayas Electric Co. (VECO), the second largest private electric utility in the Philippines with close to 300,000 customers, plans a pilot project to test prepayment (pay-as-you-go) meters in parts of its service territory. Senior vice president and chief operating officer Jaime Jose Aboitiz intends to send a team to South Africa to learn about the meters and how they are deployed in the country.
The company needs to obtain approval from the Energy Regulatory Commission before the meters can be rolled out, however.
80,000 VECO customers consume only 50 kWh of power a month, and the company says these customers will good candidates to receive the prepayment meters. Customers whose accounts are often in arrears, and whose power is therefore frequently disconnected, will also be targeted. Those customers who choose to have a pay-as-you-go meter installed will have to pay a once-off installation fee. The new meters will have a keypad for customers to use to key in the electricity credit they have purchased.
VECO hopes that customer response will be positive, noting that most people are accustomed to the pre-pay principle as this is the way they recharge their cell phoned.