Manila, Philippines — (METERING.COM) — January 9, 2013 – The Philippines’ Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has revised the rules on prepaid metering to expand the coverage of the technology and provide further protection for consumers.
Under the new rules, which were based on public consultation, prepaid electrical metering will be expanded to all customer classifications, both residential and business. Further there is approval on the use of all available types of technologies in the implementation of the service, as well as a classification of the acceptable prepaid metering system. However, the use of ERC type approved meters becomes obligatory.
To assist consumers, an alarm or warning device will be set up three days before their credit is exhausted, based on their average consumption. Furthermore, the postpaid retail rate will be adopted as the applicable prepaid rate when there are remaining credits from the previous month’s consumption, which will be adjusted based on the applicable postpaid retail rate in the succeeding month.
Under the rules prepaid electric service is available to customers voluntarily on request. Customers may also request a six-month trial of the service to assess its impact.
Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) is currently planning a 40,000 customer prepaid pilot in the Metro Manila area with GE’s advanced metering infrastructure integrated solution (AMIIS) and Orga Systems’ OS.Energy platform. This follows research that revealed that customers would prefer to be billed as they are with their mobile phones, ‘tingi’ or ‘per piece buying’.