Meralco resets prepaid power schemeBy Amy R. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Manila Electric Co., the country’s largest power distributor, has pushed back the start of its technical pilot project for the prepaid retail electricity scheme to November this year, from the previous target of July, as it has yet to award the project to a foreign firm.
The foreign firm, which will serve as an “integrator,” is supposed to deliver the solutions, including the integration of prepaid platform, Meralco systems and telecommunications loading infrastructure, said Alfredo S. Panlilio, senior vice president and head of customer retail services at Meralco.
According to Panlilio, the technical pilot project in Angono, Rizal, scheduled this November will cover a smaller number of about 40 households, to ensure that all systems are technically OK prior to the commercial pilot operations for the prepaid electricity scheme early next year.
The commercial pilot project, meanwhile, will cover a bigger area, roughly around 400 households in Angono, each of which has an average consumption of about 200 kilowatt-hours per month, Panlilio said.
The pilot activities will also test the viability of the existing prepaid platform, the prepaid meters and the various vending solutions that may be deployed. More importantly, the pilot tests will determine if the prepaid retail electricity scheme will not only be a good business case for Meralco, but also if it can provide lasting benefits for its customers.
Once this scheme has been proven feasible, Meralco will launch a wide-scale prepaid electricity scheme for 40,000 of its over 5 million customers within its franchise area.
The prepaid retail electricity service, or PRES, is one of the innovations introduced by the ERC so that consumers can have more power to control their electricity bills.
Under the prepaid meter scheme, subscribers can monitor their electricity consumption in real time while their meter systems could warn them if and when the load is nearing zero to avoid automatic disconnection.
Short URL: http://business.inquirer.net/?p=68039
Tags: Manila Electric Co.