ERC orders MERALCO to refund Php 21.77B to consumers

ERC merlaco

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has ordered power distributor giant Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) to refund another Php 21, 769, 496, 221 to its customers covering the period from July 2015 to June 2022. 

In a 68-page decision released by the ERC, the average refund rate is Php0.4790 per kilowatt-hour (kwh) and should be implemented in the next billing cycle of MERALCO for approximately 12 months. 

“The Commission endeavored to review the rate components that can be adjusted under the existing rules. In particular, we made adjustments on the Regulatory Asset Base (RAB) and recomputed the Interim Average Rate (IAR). We wanted to ensure that all over-recoveries shall be refunded complete with interest,” ERC chairperson and CEO Agnes Devanadera said. 

This would be ERC’s fourth refund order to MERALCO since the beginning of the year; Php 13.9 billion on January 27; Php4.8 billion on February 23; and Php 7.7 billion on March 8. 

With the new refund order, the total refund for MERALCO’s residential consumers is now at Php 1.8009 per kwh.

“We are confident that our Decision exercised fairness, and promoted the interests of the consuming public who bears the brunt of all these electricity charges. Let’s not forget that the provision of electricity is a public service and providers should only earn just and reasonable return on their investments,” Devanadera added. 

In a Business World report, MERALCO has confirmed receipt of the new refund order. According to MERALCO vice president and head of corporate communications Joe Zaldariagga, there is a possibility that the refund can offset the expected increase in generation charge which could lead to a reduction in the overall power rates for the month of July.