THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) ordered utility firm Manila Electric Company (Meralco) to refund over P7 billion in excess charges it collected over the past years.
The objective of the refund, which is equivalent to P0.47 per kilowatt hour for residential customers, is to provide relief from the burden of another power rate hike in May.
ERC Chairperson Atty. Agnes Devenadera said that even if there is an incoming power rate hike, once the refund is implemented, the increase in charges may only be P0.15-0.20 per kilowatt hour.
Devenadera explained this is what the ERC can do at the moment so that the price of electricity that Meralco supplies to its customers won’t go up.
The ERC official also explained that the spike in crude oil prices will also happen in May, which can be a factor in the price of electricity. However, the ERC believes that the price increase in electricity won’t have that much negative impact because the refund they ordered will be of big help to consumers.