ERC Appeals to LGUs “Allow Meter Readers to Conduct Onsite Reading”
In view of the added restrictions imposed in the National Capital Region (NCR), Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal effective March 22, 2021 until April 4, 2021, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) appeals anew to the Local Government Units (LGUs) to allow the Distribution Utilities’ meter readers to conduct their onsite meter reading activities.
“We are being proactive this time that we seek the assistance of the LGUs, particularly in those areas declared under the NCR Plus Bubble, to permit the electric meter readers to do their job in order to avoid the electric Distribution Utilities (DUs) from resorting to “estimated” billings again which may cause undue burden to our electricity consumers
”, ERC Chairperson and CEO Agnes VST Devanadera stated.
Last year, the ERC experienced an all-time high in the number of consumer complaints it received over electric bill shock which surged to more than 50,000. As a result, the ERC investigated and issued Show Cause Orders to DUs that were found to have violated certain directives contained in the ERC Advisories issued during the government’s implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) and Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) measures.
Moreover, the ERC augmented its Consumer Affairs Service’s (CAS) communication platforms in order to address the overwhelming number of complaints referred to the ERC by displeased electricity consumers. Finally, ERC had intensified its social media presence for consumers to have better access to its services.
“We want to avoid another surge of consumer complaints, similar to what happened last year, that we are appealing to the LGUs to allow the DU’s Meter Readers to conduct the actual meter reading. On the other hand, the DUs are directed to ensure the Meter Readers wear the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and that they comply with the prescribed health protocols in order to reduce the risk of getting infected with the COVID-19 virus
”, Chair Devanadera added.