Part of becoming an adult is to pay the monthly bills. If you are from anywhere serviced by MERALCO, then you already know what it is like to pay for your electricity at every end of the month.
But, as not every one of us is well-versed in Meralco’s own vernacular, chance is good that whenever you are looking into your own bill, you are only focused on two of its many elements: the total amount you’re due to pay and the actual due date. After all, these are only the numbers people would only need to know to pay their bills on time.
Yet, despite this, the bill itself displays a plethora of information which highlights the household’s energy consumption as subdivided into multiple parts — most of which people willingly ignore.
There is no one way in how your home’s electric consumption is computed per month given that there are variables to consider at play in it — which gives the explanation why people tend to skip on the number parts. However, while often ignored, these small bits of information do tell much about which that each and every one of us pay at the end of the month.
The MERALCO Meter Reading
But before we delve into the factors that, unwittingly to most people, add to our electricity bill’s bottom line, let us take a look at how the electric meter — be it digital or electromechanical — is read.
Reading a digital meter is relatively easy. All it requires is an ability to see numbers clearly from left to right.
The electromechanical reading of the meter, on the other hand, is more complicated as you tend to look at a meter which has at least four dials, labelled A, B, C, and D. Take note also that each dial moves at the opposite direction next to it, for example, dials A and B go counter-clockwise and clockwise, respectively. The same is also true with dials C and D which follow the same pattern as the previous example.
Unlike reading a number on a digital meter from left to right, the reading from an electromechanical meter starts off from right to left or from dial D to dial A. The number that appeared is the household’s present reading.
If you are keen at finding out the total number of kilowatt-hours which the household had consumed since the last billing, simply deduct the present reading from that of previous month’s reading.
The Electricity Bill Variables
Earlier, we have mentioned that there are uncontrolled elements that affect the result of the tally of our electric bill. They are as follows:
Consisting around half of your overall electric bill, the generation charge is the pay you make towards the company which give you electricity at home.
We might like to think that the relationship between consumers and energy provider is between the consumers themselves and Meralco only. But that is not necessarily the case as there is also Meralco’s transmission service provider, National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).
Typically, the transmission charge takes 8% to 10% of your monthly electric bill.
System Loss Charge
Takes a maximum of 8.5% of your monthly electric bill, the system loss charge is the cost attributed to the recovery of power lost in the process of both technical and non-technical means.
Distribution charge is the pay which Meralco gets for its service which covers the cost of the operation maintenance, development, and construction of its needed parts. Furthermore, the pay also includes the supply charge and the metering charge.
The distribution charge takes about 17% to 20% of your monthly electricity bill.
In giving tribute to the Filipino elderly and the marginalized members of society who consume electricity at not more than 100 kilowatt-hours, Meralco is giving 5% discount to these people. But to cover for its cost, it is the more fortunate consumers who get to shoulder the subsidy fee.
10% of your monthly pay is added as an imposed government taxation as broken down into three parts: local franchise tax, tax recovery adjustment charge, and value-added tax.
Coming from two sources — environmental charge and missionary electrification charge — aimed for the environmental fund and provision of electricity in remote areas, the universal charges take 3% to 5% of your household’s electricity bill.
Feed-in-Tariff Allowance (FIT-ALL)
Additional tariff paid for the production of renewable energy. It consists 1.5% to 2% of your overall monthly electric bill.
While it’s hard to compute the exact MERALCO bill every month, keeping these things in mind would definitely help you out in correctly estimating your monthly electricity consumption. When allocating a budget for it, make sure to consider the fluctuations and differences so you would not run short.