The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said Friday it has ordered the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) to refund P13.885 billion or an equivalent of P0.1528 per kilowatt-hour to customers over a period of 24 months or until the amount is fully refunded.
It was Meralco that sought the approval to implement the refund as the actual rate Meralco was able to collect was higher than the computed average rate ERC determined in the approval of the interim rate. The refund rate of P0.1528 per kWh will be reflected as a separate line item in the bills of customers during the refund period.
“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 pandemic,” said ERC chairperson and chief executive Agnes Devanadera.
It said that except for authorizing the refund, all other allegations, assumptions, and computations made in the application were subject to the agency’s extensive evaluation and pertinent rules.
The regulator also directed Meralco to reflect the refund as a separate line item in the bills of customers during the refund period.
It said the refund is without prejudice to the outcome of the final evaluation of the application after the completion of both technical and legal proceedings.
Meralco, in its application, sought the ERC’s confirmation of its weighted average tariff against the ERC-approved interim average rate to determine if there was any over or under recovery.
Meralco vice president for corporate communications Joe Zaldarriaga said the refund would provide customers with much-needed relief.
Meralco is one of the first distribution utilities that entered performance-based regulation—the rate-setting methodology adopted by the commission.