MANILA – The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) will file for emergency capital expenditures to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) upon the oversubscription of its 140,000 prepaid meters for its “Kuryente Load” program, according to First Vice President (FVP) Ivanna dela Pena.
“Then we will have to file for emergency capex to be able to purchase the meters. Depending on the requirements and the take-up on the prepaid service, we will have to go back to the ERC for additional meters if necessary,” Dela Pena told reporters.
She noted the distribution utility targets to use 40,000 prepaid meters by the end of 2015 and another 100,000 by next year.
The 40,000 meters was already approved by the ERC, while the other 100,000 to be availed by the National Housing Authority (NHA) is still pending.
She stressed the rollout of the smart prepaid meters is part of Meralco’s smart grid strategy for automated metering.
On April 27, the ERC decided that Meralco’s application follows the provisions of the Prepaid Retail Electricity Service (PRES) rules.
It backs Meralco’s commercial roll-out of “Kuryente Load” to more sites within its franchise, having been launched in the City of Manila, some parts of Angono, Taytay and Cainta, Rizal.
The ERC has also approved the Advanced Metering Infrastructure Integrated Solution (AMI-IS) that will allow customers to monitor electricity consumption, balance, loading history and account information.
Meralco pointed out the retail rates for the prepaid electricity will be the postpaid retail rate at the particular month the credited load was consumed.
The “Kuryente Load” program would also contribute to the increase of the distribution utility’s capex from Php 13.5-14.5 billion this year, according to Meralco President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Oscar Reyes.