Visayan Electric to launch prepaid metering by 2021
Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman) - September 25, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Visayan Electric is looking at offering its prepaid electricity service by 2021.

The commercial roll-out of this new service will follow after the company gets a green light from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), announced Daryl Bonbon, Visayan Electric officer-in-charge for engineering operations yesterday during a virtual meeting with the media.

Since last year, Visayan Electric started its pilot testing to some 30 Aboitiz Power employees, who are now using prepaid electricity metering. The number is expected to reach 100 users by the end of this year.

In 2009, the ERC issued the rules governing the prepaid metering scheme for electricity, officially allowing distribution utilities like Visayan Electric to begin offering the service to their customers.

The scheme is expected to help residential customers manage their consumption of electricity.

With the issuance of rules, distribution utilities could file their applications with the ERC to offer pre-paid retail electric service (PRES) to their residential customers.

The PRES is an electric service that uses a prepaid metering system designed to allow a residential customer to purchase credit or load and then use electricity until such time his load is exhausted.

It is also is expected not only to benefit consumers but also the distribution utilities, because the service will allow for “operational efficiency.”

Visayan Electric still has to perfect its mechanisms on this new offering, including the calculation of minimum load requirement from electric user.

Just like the prepaid tools now widely used by the telecom sector, all needed transactions will be done online, including smart metering, among others.

Once approved by the ERC for commercial run, Visayan Electric will offer the prepaid electricity option initially to residential users, Bonbon added.

In prepaid set up, consumers will be notified three days prior to expiry of load amount, in order to give time for reloading.

Migrating from regular metering to prepaid metering has no installation fee. Load stations are those third party payment centers Visayan Electric partners which are currently accepting bill payments.

According to ERC, the electricity rates will be the same as those charged under the existing post paid scheme, unless the distribution utility applies for and the ERC approves a different tariff for prepaid meters.

  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with