Meralco seeking legal remedies on P19-million fine, says 'fully complied' with ERC orders

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 28 2020 09:52 AM

An electric company line-man rides an elevated platform called a "cherry-picker" as he navigates under overhead electric meters along Recto Avenue in Manila on July 31, 2019. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - Manila Electric Co said Friday it has "fully complied" with the advisories as ordered by the Energy Regulatory Commission after it slapped the power distributor with a P19-million fine for its alleged failure to release a clear estimated billing and implement staggered payments.

"MERALCO is currently evaluating the said Decision and its available legal remedies given that it is the position of the Company that it has fully complied with the advisories issued by the ERC during the enhanced community quarantine period," Meralco told the stock exchange.

Meralco suspended meter reading when a lockdown was imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19. It employed an averaging scheme in bills, which resulted in "bill shocks" for consumers who received excessively high electric rates.

The ERC ordered the utility distributor to re-issue meter-based electric bills in June, to refund excess payments and to implement a staggered payment system to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 to consumers.

To alleviate concerns, Meralco said it would extend its no disconnection policy until the end of October.