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ERC charges Meralco P19-M fine due to ‘bill shock’
Meralco allegedly did not properly explain their ‘estimated billing’ for this lockdown
A consumer group insisted that customers should benefit from the fine
The Energy Regulation Commission (ERC) is paying Meralco P19-M as a fine for its failure to properly explain to the consumer that their billing was only estimated during the lockdown which resulted in a ‘bill shock.’
As a result, the power distribution company allegedly violated the ERC directive issued about it for the months of May to July.
Apart from this, Meralco also allegedly ignored their order regarding the installment payment scheme.
Image from Center for Energy, Ecology and Development
“Meralco’s neglect to provide accurate and timely information especially during this time of pandemic has created chaos and confusion to most of the electricity consuming public,” said ERC Chairperson Agnes Devanadera.
It can be recalled that many consumers were surprised by their Meralco billing for the months of May to June because it cost almost three times more than they expected.
Although Meralco has already explained, many are still disappointed, especially since their billing has been overturned, which they do not understand.
Meanwhile, a consumer group demanded that the consumers be the ones to benefit the P19-M fine charged by the ERC and not the government.
According to Laban Konsyumer President Vic Dimagiba, consumers should benefit from the fine, especially since they are the ones who have suffered because of the ‘bill shock’.
“The ERC has worked out a way to pass on the consumer fines to Meralco,” Dimagiba said in an interview with DZMM.
Meanwhile, the ERC also ordered Meralco not to impose distribution, supply, and metering charges on lifeline customers or those consuming less than 100 kWh per month.