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Meralco to refund P13.9 billion to customers

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Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) customers will soon be receiving refunds from the power distribution firm.

This is after the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has cleared Meralco to start the refund of over-recoveries based on its actual weighted average tariff charges (AWAT) worth PHP13.89 billion.

In its application to ERC last December, Meralco sought the confirmation of the commission on its AWAT as against the ERC-approved Interim Average Rate to find out if there are any over- or under-recoveries from July 2015 to November 2020.

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“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 the pandemic,” ERC chairperson and chief executive officer Agnes Devanadera said in a statement on Friday night.

The ERC order will translate into an average refund of PHP0.1528 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to its customers in a span of two years or until the equivalent amount is fully returned to customers.

Per customer class, the ERC listed the following refund rate: PHP0.2761 per kWh for Residential and General Service A customers; PHP0.1811 per kWh for General Service B customers; PHP0.0789 per kWh for General Power customers; PHP0.1165 per kWh for government hospitals, metered streetlighting, and charitable institutions; PHP0.2870 per kWh for flat streetlights; and PHP0.0366 per kWh for generator wheeling.

“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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