Electricity is one of the top expenses for many Filipino households. Unfortunately, with prices at an all-time high, there seems to be no sign of hikes slowing down. For this reason, you must learn to read your monthly electricity bill and know what you’re paying for. Then, you can better understand your energy consumption and manage your budget effectively
This guide shows how to compute your Meralco bill. Whether you’re a homeowner or renter looking to optimize your energy usage, this resource will equip you with the knowledge and tools for accurately checking and calculating your bill.
8 Things Affecting Your Meralco Bill
Many factors can significantly increase your electricity bill, and knowing them can help you reduce electricity usage and save money in the long run.
High demand and heat index
The Philippines’ summer season can be excruciating, with heat indexes rising to 50° Celsius. Not only can this scorching temperature affect your health and livelihood, but it also makes appliances like your air conditioner and refrigerator work harder to cope. As a result, your electricity consumption and bill may increase. The higher the electricity demand, the more you may end up paying.
The type and number of appliances you use can also significantly affect your electricity bill. For instance, energy-intensive appliances like air conditioners, refrigerators, and water heaters often consume more electricity while lights and fans take up less.
Monthly rate and consumption spike
Meralco’s monthly electricity rate adjustments and energy consumption certainly affect your electricity. For September 2023, the power company announced a ₱0.5006 kWh increase, translating to ₱100 more in your total bill if you consume 200 kWh.
Electricity generation has its fair share of cost. As such, Meralco offsets these expenses by imposing a generation charge. It represents 55% of your electricity bill for fuel, labor, and power plant maintenance of independent power producers (IPPs) and other Meralco suppliers.
The distribution charge is the cost of delivering electricity from power plants to homes and businesses, which is Meralco’s core service. It takes up 17.5% of your bill and covers the costs of maintaining and operating power lines, transformers, and other distribution equipment.
Transmitting electricity from power plants to distribution companies is costly. Meralco accounts for these expenses by including a 10.1% transmission charge in your monthly bill. That fee goes to Meralco’s service provider, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).
Your Meralco bill includes various taxes depending on your location and rate class. The 11.7% share on your bill encompasses the local franchise tax, value-added tax (VAT), tax recovery adjustment charge (TRAC), and Missionary Electrification Charge.
The remaining 5.7% of your Meralco bill covers relevant charges such as system loss and feed-in tariff allowance. It also goes to subsidies provided as a lifeline for low-income customers and senior citizens consuming less than 100 kWh through a discount of 5% on their bills.
How to Read a Meralco Bill
Reading your Meralco bill is the first step to understanding your energy consumption and managing your budget effectively. Here are the important sections you should monitor when checking.
The meter number is the unique identification number assigned to the electric meter installed at your property. Each meter has a specific numbering that allows Meralco to track and monitor the electricity consumption in your particular location. For accuracy, it’s best to verify that the meter number on your bill matches the one on your meter.
This section refers to the latest reading of your meter, typically taken at the end of your billing cycle. It’s measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh) and indicates your electric consumption for a specific billing period.
The previous reading is the number of kWh recorded in the last billing cycle. It serves as a reference point to calculate your electricity consumption for the current period. The difference between the current and previous readings determines your electricity usage for the billing period.
This section summarizes the amount of electricity you consumed for the billing period. Beside it is the “Your rate this month” section, which indicates how much you must pay Meralco per kWh.
How to Compute Your Meralco Bill
You might find it daunting to compute your Meralco bill. However, knowing what to do makes it a simple process that can help verify the numbers on your bill and control your electricity expenses.
1. Learn how to read your Meralco meter
The Philippines has three types of electricity meters: digital, electromechanical, and submeter. If you have a digital meter, simply read the number on the digital display to get your current reading.
You can follow the same process with a submeter since it displays your electricity consumption in numbers. Condominiums or apartments typically have this meter type installed. If you have an electromechanical meter, read the dials from left to right and check the smaller number on the respective pointers. If the pointer lands between two numbers, choose the lower number.
2. Determine your appliance’s electricity consumption
Knowing how much electricity your appliances consume is vital for effectively managing your energy budget and reducing environmental impact. You should consider two major factors:
Quantity and duration used
More appliances and more extended usage increase electricity consumption. For instance, running an air conditioner for 10 hours daily consumes more electricity than using it for 5 hours.
Older appliances consume 28% more energy than newer ones. Aside from age, maintenance can determine how much electricity your devices need. Poorly maintained ones may need to work harder to compensate for dust or wear, resulting in higher electricity bills and, possibly, the failure of the appliance system.
As such, regular maintenance of appliances is necessary for energy-efficient operations, managing consumption, and extending lifespan.
3. Compute electricity usage manually or using the Meralco calculator
There are two ways to compute your appliances’ electricity consumption:
Appliances run on either watt (W) or amps (A) and volts (V). If you have ones that use watts, multiply the wattage by how many hours you use the appliance daily. Then, divide that by 1,000 since a kilowatt equals 1,000 watts. Remember this formula:
(W x Hours per day)/1,000 = kWh per day
Conversely, if you have appliances that list amps and volts, multiply the former to the latter to convert them into watts. The most common voltage in the Philippines is 220V for devices with a flat plug. Once you have the wattage, use the formula above to calculate your appliance’s daily kWh.
Using the Meralco appliance energy calculator
You can use Meralco’s appliance energy calculator for a more accurate and quicker computation.
Start by entering your average monthly bill, selecting a specific appliance type, and indicating the number of hours, days, and weeks you typically use it. The calculator will then show how much the appliance would cost per hour, day, week, and month. For instance, if you use a 7-foot, single-door refrigerator 24/7 and have an average monthly bill of ₱12,000, it would account for approximately ₱22 per day or ₱615.95 per month in your electricity bill.
Go Solar for Lower Electricity Bills
Understanding your Meralco bill is critical to controlling your energy consumption and budget. An energy-saving tip is to use your appliances only when needed and unplug them when you’re not home. Meanwhile, energy-efficient solutions from SolarNRG can help reduce energy consumption significantly. We enable individuals and businesses to use solar energy for homes and commercial establishments for reduced carbon footprint and lower costs.
Contact us to learn more about solar power products and services.