Is your monthly electric bill with Meralco higher than what you normally pay it for?
With the recent lockdown that caused many disruptions in the society, particularly the forcing of workforce members to stay at home, it comes as a perplexing case how households are expected to pay for a monthly bill—let alone one that is seemingly more expensive than usual.
UPDATE as of 10:17AM, May 15: MERALCO clarified that the previous March and April billings were computed on the average consumption of the preceding months before the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
MERALCO says January to March are considered ‘low consumption’ and electricity consumption usually spike during summer. That’s on top of the current ECQ which forced everybody to stay at home and resulted to higher appliances usage.
To sum it up, the new May 2020 bill reflects the actual consumption of consumers plus the adjustments for both March and April included. This is the main reason why MERALCO customers got way higher electric bills this month.
To some of the active subscribers of Meralco’s service, things did happen just that.
In a bid to clarify the issue on the suspicion of some, particularly the affected, that it’s a form of profiteering, Meralco sent out a statement explaining what took place.
First off is the issue of the meter reading having been temporarily suspended amidst an ongoing crisis. With the need to charge people for their energy consumption for the months of March and April to cover operational cost rendered, Meralco had to resort to using the kilowatt consumption averaging.
This means that, while people had to pay a likeable amount for the months of March and April, the expenses charged is merely an estimate and, therefore, were subject to adjustments in later months.
Another problem is the fact that, since people are cooped up in their homes, every household’s utilization of energy has also significantly increased. This means that during the lockdown, many families have been spending more time in front of the computer, TV, or other means of electronic entertainment.
A plausible reason of the story is also the trouble that comes with the current season—summer. Essentially in the midst of summer’s heat, another cause of the boosted energy consumption comes from cooling appliances, such as the refrigerator, electric fan, or air-conditioner.
To know your eletricity charges for the month, you can check it using the MERALCO mobile app.
In the comments section of James Deakin’s Facebook post, a lot of Meralco customers are complaining. Most of them showing 2x to 3x increase in electricity costs.
Yet, while seemingly justifiable, there are some consumers who were disgruntled due to an “unbelievable” expense that comes with their May billing.
One complainer showed a chart that shows his entire kilowatt consumption of energy since September 2019 until May 2020. It saw the latter having a massive spike, by many times fold, from any of the almost consistent previous data.
Another customer even commented how his May 2020 kilowatt consumption has skyrocketed, it seemingly “exceeded” the maximum capacity in the given chart.
There’s also a random commenter on social media who moaned over his ridiculous monthly bill for May, despite having a set of “inverter-type” appliances at home.
Is this normal or is there something wrong with MERALCO’s billing? For now, all we can do is wait for further explanation from the electric company.
Anybody else got the weird spike?