Meralco smart grid budget
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Prepaid meters: Meralco to extend rollout by 100k
Meralco plans to install 40,000 residential smart prepaid meters this year, followed by a further 100,000 in 2016

In South-East Asia, the Philippines' largest distributor of electrical power has secured regulatory approval for a 40,000 rollout of smart prepaid meters.

The Manila Electric Company, also known as Meralco, will install phase one of the rollout this year as part of the utility US$324 million (Philippine Peso 14.5 billion) capital expenditure budget for this year.

The utility then plans to expand its coverage in 2016, said Ivanna G. dela Peña, first vice-president and head of regulatory management.

Ms dela Peña told local media last week that: “We are going full blast now that the Energy Regulatory Commission has approved prepaid electricity meters for this project.

"We have also a pending application for another 100,000 meters.

"We are expecting to utilize the 40,000 by the end of this year and then the 100,000 next year.”

Meralco has already signed a memorandum of agreement with the National Housing Authority, which will get a portion of the 100,000 meters targeted for next year, local media BusinessWorld Online reports.

Ms. dela Peña said Meralco is also ready to apply for more meters if there is sufficient need.

Pilot tests for Meralco’s prepaid service called 'Kuryente Load' were conducted in February 2014, according to Business World Online.

The service is now available in Manila, and parts of Angono, Taytay, and Cainta in Rizal province.

Advanced metering infrastructure

Meralco is also implementing an advanced metering infrastructure system as part of its prepaid service, which is being supplied by General Electric.

The system will enable consumers to monitor their electricity consumption, balance, credit purchase history and account information.

Customers can purchase credits at Meralco business centers and retail outlets like convenience and department stores.

Germany's Orga Systems is supplying the billing technology while Ecologic Analytics, a Landis+Gyr owned meter data management system.