Meralcosaid today that the full implementation of their electricity rate hike of PhP3.44/KWh this December won’t be felt this month — rather it will take in staggered payment forms but don’t jump for joy just yet because the petition has yet to be approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission that approves those kinds of arrangements but I think this is just formality.
New in the Market would still want our loyal readers to take the high road and be wise in using this utility. Why pay more even if you will do this in staggered payments? We encourage our dear readers to still try to reduce use of your electricity and elect to pay less in the coming months.
We have come up with different solutions you can do (albeit with some sacrifices) to regulate consumption of your home electricity. Stop regretting tomorrow and read our tips and save on cost today.
Meralco has said it. They’ll raise electricity rates by as much as (or even more!) PhP3.00 in December 2013. This is to give way to mandatory maintenance of the Malampaya Natural Gas Power Plant that helps run turbines that create electricity. Tips to reduce cost of your monthly electricity bills:
• Defrost your refrigerator if you haven’t for months on end
• Declutter your refrigerator, trash unwanted food, put dry food in one container, don’t stuff you ref for better cold circulation
• Plan your food better and open your ref methodically every time
Hot and Cold
• If you have heated water dispenser, unplug it this month, use percolator
• Maximize use of freshly cooked rice, heat leftover food using rice cooker
• Use shower heaters sparingly this month. If you have time, warm up by doing some calisthenics.
• Get a Coleman cooler to cool and store drinks in it. Buying ice is cheaper than paying electricity this month, believe me.
• Charge your phones in the morning, avoid wasting energy once your phones are charged
• Unplug any appliances you’re not using like turned off television, stereos, electric fans, A/Cs, and more
Air Condition Units
• Use your Aircon’s timer. I run it for two hours only. The weather’s cold any way
• Use electric fans instead of A/Cs
• For parents, invite your kids to your room and sleep there to save on A/C power
• It’s colder these days, open windows if possible and don’t use the A/C
• Clean the filter of your air-conditioner
I have no illusions that some of these tips are easy. In fact, it’s hard to some of you. It’s not your normal way of doing things and it requires an amount of effort. To some, it’s a way of changing lifestyle, however, this is an opportunity to put more money in our pockets for better use tomorrow.
If you will do these tips, please share with us your experience what you benefited from it. Have a nice day.
Is Meralco getting nervous (or more nervous?) with this recent Facebook post they published early in the afternoon of 11th October? It seems the protest to this Billing Deposit is mounting and I’m sure glad they are doing something about it and FAST.
If only Meralco knows the power of SHOES then I think they wouldn’t be getting more flak than they should.
What do I mean by “shoes?”
Putting their feet in our shoes.
I believe, for the most part, smart consumers know that planning is always key in any budgetary concerns of every day life. If only Meralco told consumers in advance what they have to prepare then we won’t have this big wall of NO from customers who are seeking either seeking a reprieve or a strike down from what consumers think is an excessive (albeit) demand for more fees.
Consumers had enough of this unwanted surprises from bureaucrats and policy makers – whether in the political stage or in the commercial-consumer stage especially when people are already planning for reunions during Christmas. People are already winding down and want to appreciate their earnings. By doing it unannounced, what Meralco executives are telling consumers that asking for Billing Deposit in the last quarter of the year wouldn’t hurt their customers too much thinkg bonuses will be coming up later in the year anyway but that’s not the case here. In all intents and purposes, Meralco deliberately withheld communication and let the winds take its course – never letting their customers plan ahead.
Meralco, if you were in my shoes? Would you agree in the manner this Billing Deposit played out? Would you do this just like this? Demand payment as if electricity is the only commodity we have to deal with every month? Like we don’t have mouths to feed? Could you have at least informed us of such potential payments we have to deal with?
If only Meralco knows how to be HUMAN then I think they will have the support of a lot of people, a lot of consumers in paying Billing Deposits – and yes – even on a Christmas season and against our budget.
After Mr. Cortez explained to New In The Market what this Meralco Billing Deposit is all about, he touched on some troubling matters that concerns condominium unit-owners whose Administrators handle all electrical bills for their residents.
Mr. Cortez’s uncle owns a condominium unit but the housing association administers his utility bills. He, Mr. Cortez’s uncle, was now being asked to pay for the Meralco Billing Deposit that the condo association is asking for.
Now before we dive into this situation, I want to ask our readers these seemingly simple questions:
Should Mr. Cortez pay the Billing Deposit? He should because that is the law, right?
Now, what about the refund that Meralco gives after three years if the condo association pay their bills on time? Will he and each of his neighbors get such refund as a benefit to this kind of arrangement?
That’s the BIG “???”
At this point, the reality is the housing association is the only one directly dealing with Meralco. Now, if and when the condo admin gets any thing in return, residents won’t have any way of knowing it.
We won’t have any problem if the housing association is honorable, above board, and above reproach but that is not always the case.
Unfortunately, no news wires are dabbling on this situation so I am volunteering two possible solutions to address this:
Meralco publishes – online or in broadsheets – condo association or companies that will get refund out of Billing Deposits. This will give more residents the information and make housing associations accountable to such refunds.
Since creating an internal system can be problematic and stressful, Housing Associations should pass a resolution that residents will vote on and agree where the refunded money will go to: Will it be to charity? Will it be to infrastructure projects that will improve conditions of the condominium they all live in? Will it be equally distributed according to the size of the condominium owners are living in?
There aren’t easy answers but Meralco is staring all of its customers in the face and are asking you – with the law on their side – to pay this (what others call, diabolical) Billing Deposit. We need solutions, we need to act fast, and we need to make Meralco accountable for this belated notice after this.
If you have more ideas on how to address this, drop me a note and we will add your name and solution to help others get through with this. Besides, it is in solutions we thrive, not in pointing the blame.
New In The Market met shortly with one of the Business Center officers taking care of new accounts for Meralco and asked what this Billing Deposit is all about. I’ll just refer to the person we talked to as Mr. N. Cortez.
What is Billing Deposit?
Billing Deposit is, Mr. Cortez explained, is the amount a customer incurs because the electrical load amount exceeded the original electrical plan given to them to begin with. It is not a penalty or any residual amount that we failed to pay with Meralco or any of what news wires are filing recently.
Here’s how this Billing Deposit ‘works’:
For example: The electrical plan of a house/ business submitted to them when you first applied with Meralco requires a 10,000 watt capacity BUT what your Architect or Contractor submitted was 1,000 watt capacity electrical plan only. Over time, Meralco sees what electricity you really consume and that’s when Meralco compensates the difference. This difference in the amount of capacity your residence/building really needs leads to a Billing Deposit.
This, he says, is a practice that usually happens either:
1. A customer didn’t realize that he/she will be plugging more equipments and therefore exceeding the electrical plan or…
2. Because the customer doesn’t want to pay more upfront and therefore under-reports the real or planned consumption is.
Either way, Mr. Cortez further stressed that it is better to over-estimate your load requirements than to under-report or under-estimate it.
Can the Error be corrected?
Mr. Cortez says that Meralco will now be applying corrective measures so that their customers won’t be needing any surprises in the future regarding this Billing Deposit.
So for now, he insists, that a customer can ask for a payment plan – if the amount is too high – by visiting their nearest Meralco Business Center.
Paying Billing Deposit is a first for any one and he says this is the first time Meralco is asking customers to pay for what the electric company is compensating in the electrical load amount you are receiving. Billing ‘Deposit’ according to Mr. Cortez is not a penalty for paying your bills late. It is the translated amount (in pesos) for the load of electricity your residence required compared to the initial load requirement you submitted to Meralco.
It is a good lesson to learn from and if you’re a business owner requiring help, please go to your nearest Meralco business center at 8 AM and ask to be directed to the Customer Welfare Office to speak to their representatives regarding payment plans to your Billing Deposit.
By the way, if you’re a Condo Owner and you don’t pay your utilities directly to Meralco, you should read this and know how you can do something about it.