Meralco in talks with SMDC, Megaworld for prepaid meters
MANILA, Philippines — The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) is in talks with property developers SM Development Corporation (SMDC) and Megaworld Corporation to use prepaid electricity meters in their housing projects.
"We are talking to a lot of developers like SMDC and Megaworld. There are still others. They are exploring it," Meralco Senior Vice-President Alfredo Panlilio said.
The Meralco executive said timing is important as there is no approval yet from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for the utility firm to install an additional 100,000 prepaid electricity meters.
"We are not pressing too hard at the moment because we don’t have enough meters to install. At the same time, these developers can’t wait for us. They have project timelines to follow also,” Panlilio said.
SMDC and Megaworld are Meralco’s target customers for the additional 100,000 meters that it plans to install within its assigned franchise areas.
Meralco cannot install these additional meters until they secure the green light from the ERC.
A check with the ERC showed that Meralco’s application is still being deliberated on.
Lawyer Vanessa Reynoso of the ERC said the commission awaits the submission of concerned parties before Meralco’s application is deemed submitted for resolution.
"Once all required submissions are in, the Commission can already start deliberating on the matter," Reynoso said.
Meralco has so far installed between 18,000 to 19,000 prepaid meters out of the 40,000 units that had been approved for roll out by the ERC. The remaining 20,000 meters would be installed and activated within the first quarter of 2016, said Panlilio.
"We hope to finish the entire 40,000 by first quarter of next year. We are close to 20,000 now. Around 18,000 to 19,000 meters activated already. We've slowed down a bit because we wanted to make sure that the coverage was in place," said Panlilio.
Pilot tests for Meralco's prepaid retail electricity service (PRES) were conducted starting February 2014.
PRES is now available in Manila, and parts of Angono, Taytay, and Cainta in Rizal provinces. Manila is fully covered, added Panlilio.
Property developer 8990 Holdings Incorporated earlier tapped Meralco's PRES for its project sites.
Meralco has tapped General Electric as the system integrator for the advanced metering structure of the service; Orga Systems for the billing aspect of the service; and Ecologic Analytics for the meter data management system.
The PRES will enable customers to monitor their electricity consumption, balance, credit purchase history and account information. – Rappler.com