ERC allows Meralco refund P13.88B to customers


The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) is allowing the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) to refund a total of P13.88 billion to its customers over a 24-month period.


The ERC said on Friday that Meralco is allowed return to its customers an average refund of P0.1528 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to its customers in about 24 months.


“The commission approved Meralco’s prayer for the issuance of a provisional authority in order to allow their customers to immediately enjoy the benefits of the proposed refund and provide immediate rate relief especially during this time of pandemic,” ERC Chairperson and Chief Executive Office Agnes Devanadera was quoted as saying.


Meralco filed a petition to ERC late last year to refund P13.88 billion as additional relief to its customers amid the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. The amount covers the difference between the actual weighted average tariff of Meralco’s distribution charge of P1.4414 per kWh and the private company’s current ERC-approved distribution rate of P1.3810 per kWh.


“Except for authorizing the refund as applied, all other allegations, assumptions, and computations made in the instant Application are still subject to the ERC’s extensive evaluation and pertinent rules on the matter,” the ERC said.


The ERC also directed Meralco to reflect the refund as a separate line item in the bills of its customers during the entire refund period.


“As regulator of the electric power industry, the commission in determining its actions on applications filed before it, has the consumer welfare as its primary consideration, thus, our decision to immediately authorize the refund. We hope that the reduction in rate could help our consumers cope with the still ongoing pandemic,” Devanadera said.

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