Zenaida G. Cruz-Ducut,
Chairperson, ERC
 
Manila, Philippines — (METERING.COM) — December 18, 2008 – Under new draft rules issued by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), it is proposed that distribution utilities in the Philippines must ensure that all electric meters they put in service are tested and sealed by the Commission and that while the meters are in service, they should be tested at least once every two years.

In terms of the proposed rules each distributor providing a metered electric service must, unless specifically exempted by the ERC, maintain a meter shop, which is responsible for the routine testing, repair, and calibration of electric meters and other auxiliary devices and equipment essential to the metering of electric power and energy.

Moreover each distributor will be required to apply for and hold a Certificate of Authority to maintain its meter shop.

Exemptions will be granted only where it can be demonstrated by a distributor that it is more feasible to engage the services of another meter shop than to maintain its own.

Each distributor’s watt-hour meter standards must be traceable to the NIST. All new, reconditioned or repaired meters, before being put into service, must pass an acceptance test, with adjustment or calibration with an error not exceeding +/- 0.5 percent. Inspection sample sizes proposed range, for normal inspections, from 20 meters for a lot size up to 200 meters, up to 200 meters for a lot size up to 10,000 meters. Lot rejection criteria range from 1 non-conforming meter for a lot size up to 150 meters up to 6 non-conforming meters for a lot size up to 10,000 meters.

However these criteria may be either relaxed or tightened based on the distributor’s test history.

It is also proposed that annually the distributors should submit a sampling plan outlining their in-service testing program for the year.

In the case of a customer requesting a test of their meter this must be completed within 15 days of the receipt of the request.

The objective of the rules and procedures, which are now open to comment, is to promote the public interest by providing guidance to the distribution utilities in the test and maintenance of electric meters in order to ensure the highest level of confidence of the consumers on the accuracy of their watt-hour meters.