Electric utility giant Manila Electric Company (Meralco) has extended its âcost reduction solutionsâ primarily to its commercial customers to lower their electric bills as they strive to bounce back from the financial sinking of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Meralco’s vice president and chief utility economy, Lawrence S. Fernandez, businesses served by the utility company in its franchise area have recorded overall savings of 3.2 billion pesos on their operations. electricity bills through their guaranteed minimum billing request (GMBD) program. by more than 95,000 customers, mostly small and medium-sized businesses.
The Meralco executive explained that âduring last year’s pandemic, when community restrictions were tightest and businesses weren’t allowed to operate, Meralco gave payment relief to businesses that weren’t allowed to operate. unable to meet their guaranteed minimum billing request â.
Fernandez noted that in order for their corporate clients to be properly informed of this cost relief mechanism, Meralco “contacted the companies directly and met with them to see what assistance Meralco can provide, such as performing energy audits or the correct one. sizing their contracts. “
As the country goes through the affliction of the health crisis, the power company said it has also stepped up its involvement in “providing business customers with more sustainable solutions that will help them move forward as they go. that they recover from the pandemic “.
Besides the GMBD solution for businesses, Meralco has also helped financially distressed customers from a broader perspective through the series of postponements of its service disconnection, especially when the capital and neighboring provinces were subjected to strict lockdowns – such as during Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), modified ECQ and granular locks in various areas covered by its service area.
As Meralco’s vice president for corporate communications, Joe Zaldarriaga, said, the utility “is probably the only utility in the county to have suspended service disconnection for the longest time.”
This initiative was implemented, he said, because “we understand the need for electricity when we have all been asked to limit mobility and stay at home, so we did what we could to. help – that is, continue to serve with reliable, quality 24/7 electricity service. “
The authorization of installment payments has been the other area in which Meralco has strived to help its customers, primarily those who cannot pay their bills in full due to lower income or loss of business. use.
Based on company data, the number of Meralco subscribers who have benefited from Installment Payment Arrangements (IPA) has exceeded 230,000; and the bulk of these were residential end users.
âWe continue to work with the entire industry to ensure there is no disruption in supply. Those who requested payment extensions, even beyond what we were ordered by the regulator, we made sure that customers who needed time to recover from the financial impact of the pandemic were supported and assisted, âsaid Zaldarriaga.
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