The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) of the Philippines has officially issued the rules governing the prepaid metering scheme for electricity. Paid retail electric service (PRES) will be an electric service scheme that uses a prepaid metering system designed to allow a residential customer to purchase credit or load and then use electricity until such time his load is exhausted.
The prepaid scheme is expected to help residential customers manage their consumption of electricity. People can now measure their consumption regularly thus helping them mange their energy use. Customers will now be empowered to control their electricity consumption better with this system. This will also benefit the distribution utilities, because the service will allow for “operational efficiency.”
As required under the rules, the prepaid electricity meter system must have the capabilities to: load the purchased energy, display real time information on how the load is being consumed, and give warning that the load is close to zero thereby providing a sufficient buffer before electricity is completely disconnected.
It is believed that prepaid electricity scheme would help cut down systems losses and eventually lower power rates for it would help address the problems of pilferage (which adds to the systems charge in consumers’ monthly electricity bills). Distribution utilities are considering the prepaid scheme because it’s also viewed as a solution to collection problem and delinquency.
Hope that PRES will be available to every consumers in Metro Manila soon. Accordingly, a pilot test is on the way in certain part of the metropolis.