Imee To Meralco: No More Bill Shocks, Please!

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Senator Imee Marcos has lauded the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for slapping a Php19-million fine on Meralco and demanding a discount on behalf of the power distributor’s smaller customers consuming up to 100 kilowatt hours per month.

Marcos, who chairs the Senate committee on economic affairs, said the penalties imposed by ERC chairperson Agnes Devanadera were “absolutely justified for Meralco’s bill shock on its customers.”

“Meralco boomeranged on its own mess. Its condescending attitude toward customers reaped its karma, after causing confusion, anxiety and inconvenience in the middle of a health and economic crisis,” Marcos added.

Meralco provoked an outcry among its customers after overcharging them during the first three months of lockdown in May to March, without conducting actual meter readings and basing its billing calculations on mere estimates.

“Meralco has been put on notice that it cannot escape the consequences of future bill shocks or any form of abuse on electricity consumers,” Marcos said.

Marcos added that Meralco “still has a lot of explaining to do,” noting that it may resume disconnections in November, since the staggered four-month bill payments that were eventually granted customers who consume up to 100kwh per month will expire by the end of October.

“What happens to the staggered payments that customers have earlier made on the exorbitant estimates, out of fear that their power supply would be cut off?” Marcos asked.

“The next thing we should watch out for is whether Meralco will pass on to us the costs of its penalties,” Marcos added, appealing to the ERC not to let its guard down.