The last time I accepted an invitation from Meralco was back in 2011. Meralco then shared what they had in store for their customers (i.e. people like you and me). Electricity comprises a big chunk of our monthly household expense so I’m always interested in matters that are directly related to it.
I was recently invited by Meralco for a casual lunch at Mamou Too! with a few other mommy bloggers in Power Plant Mall. I was told that we were going to be discussing the much-talked-about electricity price hike. I think it’s fair to assume that that whenever electricity rates go up, we immediately think it’s because Meralco wants to raise them. I’m the first to admit that I’m like that because I tend to see the bottomline, and that’s my inflated total electric bill.
Every month, Meralco releases a short video advisory like this one. This short video clip from November 2013 explains exactly why our electric bill is going to go up. While most of us know Meralco as the electric company, they are actually only in charge of the distribution of electricity. Generation and transmission are done by other entities, while taxes go to the government. According to this video, everything is going up except distribution, and distribution is what Meralco is in charge of.
Since several power plants Meralco taps for energy are due for scheduled maintenance shutdown, they have had to reduce their electricity generation capacity — operating at a limited level using more expensive fuel. To ensure a stable supply of electricity, Meralco is sourcing from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) at higher rates. However, once maintenance is completed, Meralco assured us that electricity rates will stabilize.
The P4.15 per kWh price hike will be broken down into three months: December, February, and March — so to the consumer, it will be like a staggered payment scheme. Meralco is skipping January since it is expected that a higher electric bill is expected for this month due to the holiday season. You may click on the image above for a closer look at the details.
To combat the rising generation and transmission charges, the Meralco folks shared a lot of electricity saving tips over lunch. For starters, did you know that all electrical appliances with a standby mode (they call it the “red dot”) consume electricity as long they are plugged in?
Here’s an example of a “red dot” — our Sony Playstation 3. It’s off, no one is playing, but it’s plugged in so it’s on standby mode hence the little red dot. We were told that an LCD TV on standby “red dot” mode would consume an extra P16 a month. Imagine if you have other red dot appliances like video game consoles, stereos, DVD players, etc. If every single one of them consumed an extra P16 you can easily end up paying an unnecessary extra P100+ a month… which would translate to over P1,000+ a year. Instead of leaving everything on standby, unplug them so you can save more.
One major change you can introduce to your household is replacing incandescent bulbs with CFL lamps. CFLs are brighter and consume less electricity, so your electric bill will definitely go down. Of course, you should not forget to turn off the lights when not in use.
Meralco also suggests that you check the Energy Guide that comes with electrical appliances before making a purchase. Buying more energy efficient things for your household will definitely reduce your electrical consumption. Did you know that manual defrost refrigerators consume less electricity compared to frost-free models? Or that front-load washing machines are more energy efficient compared to top-load ones?
For more electricity saving tips, I suggest downloading the Meralco MOVE (MeralcO Virtual Engine) App on Android and/or iOS. There’s a button there marked as “Bright Ideas”. Clicking on it will take you to a virtual house.
Clicking on a room will take you inside it. Clicking on electrical appliances inside the room will reveal electricity saving tips.
Aside from electricity saving tips, you also get to discover fun stuff like this mermaid bathing in the tub! This app is definitely a good and fun way to teach kids how to save electricity.
It was a surprisingly enjoyable and enlightening lunch — good food, good company! I learned a lot from the Meralco folks, since they really took time to answer all our questions about practically everything electricity-related. For more information, log on to http://bit.ly/Meralco4U.
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