Meralco to return P1.4B in excess collection
Customers of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) will enjoy this year a three-month refund of 13.31 centavos a kilowatt-hour, but will pay up an additional 3.95 centavos a kWh over the next two years to compensate for overcollection and undercollection that happened from January 2017 to December 2019.
Based on an order by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) dated Dec. 16, but made public on Dec. 29, Meralco must return to customers P1.4 billion in excess collection of the transmission charge, systems loss charge, lifeline subsidy and senior citizen subsidy.
Also, Meralco should recover from customers a total of P2.38 billion of undercollected generation charges.
Starting in the billing cycle after Meralco received a copy of the order, the refund will be implemented for three months until the overcollection has been returned. The recovery of pass-on generation charges will be implemented over the next 24 monthly bills until fully collected.
Distribution utilities like Meralco are required to file with the ERC their applications once every three years to ensure that the recovery or refund of various pass-through costs is fair and proper.
In a statement, the ERC said it directed a longer period for Meralco to collect the under charges in order to protect the consuming public by mitigating the impact of the under-recovery collection.
“Let it be emphasized that the commission, in acting on the pass-on charges confirmation, has the consumers’ welfare as its primordial consideration,” ERC Chair Agnes Devanadera said.
“We will find means such as stretching the collection of any undercollection to a longer period and effecting a quick refund for overcollection in order to temper the impact on consumer’s bill,” Devanadera added.