Meralco defers bill deposit collection to 2013
MANILA, Philippines - The country's biggest power distributor, Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), has postponed the collection of bill deposits from roughly 1.25 million of its over 5 million customers until next year.
Meralco said the bill deposits will be collected in a staggered basis within a 12-month period starting January 2013.
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) earlier said the Magna Carta for Residential Electricity Consumers provides that consumers have the obligation to pay the bill deposits.
A bill deposit, which serves as security for unpaid bills, is equivalent to one month's billing and payable every year. Meralco said this is the first time it will update its customers' bill deposits.
Under the collection arrangement, a customer, who paid a bill deposit of P1,500 when he had his electricity connection installed, could expect to see P500 added to his next bill when his average monthly consumption for the past 12 months reaches P2,000.
On the other hand, he could expect a refund of P500 if his average monthly consumption for the past year is only P1,500.
Based on Meralco's computations, the breakdown is as follows:
- about 1.239 million customers due for additional bill deposits;
- another 1.239 million customers are to be refunded for the excess in bill deposits; and
- remaining 2.478 million customers will not be refunded or charged additionally for their bill deposits.