MANILA ELECTRIC Co. (Meralco) will pilot test about 5,000 “smart” meters as part of its advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) program, a company official said on Wednesday.
Ronnie L. Aperocho, executive vice-president and chief operating officer of Meralco, told reporters on the third day of Meralco’s Giga Summit 2023, that the company is still waiting for the approval of the Energy Regulatory Commission for the full implementation of the project.
“Maybe to have some sort of a significant pilot, maybe we are looking at least 5,000 [smart meters] to demonstrate,” he said, adding that the move is for the customers to realize the value of having a smart meter.
Smart meters allow electricity consumers to monitor their power consumption in real time. The pilot test will be for both prepaid and postpaid electricity services.
The integrated system of smart meters is part of Meralco’s AMI program, which serves as a two-way communication avenue between the company and customers and enables the former to monitor what is happening in its electric grid.
Based on Meralco’s website, the prepaid electricity service is available in residential areas in the cities of Manila, Mandaluyong, Pasig, and Makati.
It is also available in the municipalities of Angono, Binangonan, Cainta, and Taytay in Rizal province, and parts of Cavite, Parañaque, Pasay, San Juan, Taguig, Quezon City, Caloocan, and Bulacan.
Meralco’s controlling stakeholder, Beacon Electric Asset Holdings, Inc., is partly owned by PLDT Inc.
Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has an interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera