Power utilities told: Follow meter, billing rules during quarantine

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 22 2020 03:11 PM | Updated as of May 22 2020 03:31 PM

A lineman from an electric company takes a rest after working on electricity meters in Manila on May 13, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - The Energy Regulatory Commission said Friday power distributors should follow new guidelines on meter reading and deferred payments during lockdowns.

Meters should be read and a new bill should be issued to reflect actual consumption not later than June 8, the ERC said in an advisory. 

Households with monthly consumption of 200 kWh and below in February should be allowed to stagger payments for up to 6 months for dues accumulated during the enhanced community quarantine and succeeding modified ECQ, it said.

The first monthly amortization should be made from June 15 without penalties, interests or other fees, the ERC said. 

Those with over 200 kWh consumption in February should be allowed 4 equal monthly staggered payment for dues that fell within the ECQ and MECQ, it said. 

Several consumers complained of an unusual spike in their electric bills after Meralco postponed meter reading during the lockdown. 

-- with a report from Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News