ERC approves Php13.9B MERALCO refund

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The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has approved the Manila Electric Company’s (MERALCO) refund to its customers amounting to Php13.9 billion.

This would translate to an average refund of Php0.1528 per kilowatt hour per month, which will take effect in the March electric bill.

“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 Agnes Devanadera said in a statement.

The refund process will take effect for the next 24 months.

In its order, the ERC emphasized that it limits such provisional authority only to the refund of the amount as applied by MERALCO.

The quasi-judicial regulator also directed the power giant to reflect the refund as a separate line item in the bills of its customers during the refund period.

Moreover, ERC qualified that the refund is without prejudice to the outcome of the final evaluation of the application after completion of both technical and legal proceedings.

MERALCO, in its application, sought the ERC’s confirmation of its Actual Weighted Average Tariff as against the ERC-approved Interim Average Rate to determine if there are any over or under recovery.

“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 added.

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