Meralco Agreeable to Terms on Standards for Electric Meters

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Consistent with its drive to pare down pilferage cases at its distribution network, utility giant Manila Electric Company (Meralco) indicated that it is agreeable to the terms set by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on instituting standards for electric meters.The rules set forth by the regulator called for the relocation of un-conforming electric meters to elevated metering centers (EMCs) as part of policy compliance to highest level of safety standards for distribution utilities serving the power needs of end-users.The ERC noted that its guiding principle is premised on the need for "DU to ensure that the installation and relocation of residential electric meters to the EMC (elevated metering centers) or to other elevated service" must conform with provisions of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act.According to Meralco regulatory affairs head Atty. Jose Ronald Valles, the company will throw full support to the initiative, as that will "redound to the safety of customers and at the same time will contribute to the lowering of system loss."Such policy enforcement, he added, "is certainly a big help in our efforts to reduce pilferage losses and conforms to strict safety standards.Meralco emphasized that many depressed areas, especially in the metropolis, tend to use substandard electrical facilities in their desire to have electricity. Hence, they end up falling prey to "illegal connections and accidents, particularly fire incidents."The elevated metering centers would refer to structure attached to the DU poles or other structures on which a cluster of meters is installed beyond the mounting height as prescribed by existing rules and statutes. …