The TOU (Time-of-Use) is an energy-pricing scheme approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) with rates based on the time of day electricity is produced and on the cost of supplying electricity during that time. TOU gives qualified Meralco customers the opportunity to enjoy lower electricity rates during off-peak periods.
How can customers benefit from the program?
TOU customers are charged with lower rates for electricity used during off-peak periods. This means businesses can take advantage of operating at maximum capacity during times when electricity is cheapest. To illustrate, a manufacturer of spare parts may opt to reschedule the bulk of production output to the night-time shift, rather than running all the energy-intensive machines in the morning.
For residential customers, looking at July 2011 rates, for example, using a 1.5HP aircon during off-peak periods costs only P12.47 an hour compared to P14.81 per hour at regular rate - a 16% difference!
With TOU, high-electricity usage activities can be done at night: SMEs can run production machinery, moulding equipment and packaging activities at full capacity, and residential customers can schedule ironing of clothes, continuous running of washing machines and dryers during these periods when the rate is lowest
What is a peak period and an off-peak period?
Airlines and hotels offer cheaper rates during off-season or periods of low demand. Telecommunications firms have a similar scheme which allows subscribers lower rates at night. Meralco's TOU program is a similar scheme that specifies different pricing depending on the time of day, day of the week and season of the year.
Meralco's TOU pricing consists of two time periods: the peak period and the off-peak period.
Peak periods are hours of the day when the demand for electricity is high. Energy prices during peak periods are substantially higher than the charges during off-peak periods. This is because more power plants, including those running on expensive fuels, are needed to run during the peak hours to supply and meet the demand for electricity. During off-peak or low demand, only plants running at low operating costs supply the electricity.
On weekdays, from Monday to Saturday, the peak period of electricity consumption occurs during office hours until the evening, when people are most active. However, on Sundays the off-peak period stretches for 22 hours with only a small period during the early evening as part of peak period.
What are the peak and off-peak hours?
Monday to Saturday 8:00:01 a.m. to 9 p.m. (13 hours)
Sunday 6:00:01 p.m. to 8 p.m. (2 hours)
Off-Peak Periods (where electric rates are lowest)
Monday to Saturday 12:00:01 a.m. to 8 a.m. & 9:00:01 p.m. to 12 midnight (11 hours)
Sunday 12:00:01 a.m. to 6 p.m. & 8:00:01 p.m. to 12 midnight (22 hours)
How much are the Time-Of-Use (TOU) rates?
Meralco's TOU rates consist of a basic charge plus (or minus) a generation charge adjustment (GCA). The GCA will adjust the basic generation charge for monthly movements in generation cost as well as other generation rate adjustments as approved by the ERC.
The table below shows the basic generation charges as provisionally approved by the ERC:
The rates also vary during the wet and dry seasons. The wet season, from the months of July to December, is lower while dry season, from the months of January to June is a higher rate. This is because demand for electricity during the wet season is characteristically lower, and more power is harnessed from hydroelectric plants. The peak rates are lower during the wet season compared to the dry season.
The basic generation charge is calculated using a base month, assuming a power sourcing mix and cost of purchased power. Each month, the peak and off-peak basic charges will be adjusted through the GCA, to reflect the true cost of power at the time it was consumed. These adjustments may go upwards or downwards depending on the sourcing conditions during the supply month.
Will I need a special meter to avail myself of the TOU rates?
Yes, a TOU meter will be needed to replace your existing meter to record the total kilowatt-hour consumption. The meter's computerized clock keeps track of the energy use during different times of the day.
Who are qualified for Meralco's TOU Rate Scheme?
SMEs, non-residential commercial and industrial customers, with at least a 5kilowatt average demand may apply for the Time-of-Use program. The Meralco TOU Rate Program is also open for residential customers with a 12-month average consumption of at least 500 kWh prior to the date of their application.
Are there fees involved with this TOU-pricing scheme?
Yes, there is an application fee depending on the customer's electric load requirement.
The application fee is a one-time cost for TOU applications. This fee covers the incremental cost of metering, the cost to install the TOU meter, the costs to enhance our systems, additional costs to reformat the bills and the cost of information campaign.
Also, there are "minimal" monthly incremental supply and metering charges. The incremental metering charge covers the additional costs to operate, maintain and read the TOU meter. The incremental supply charge is for the additional costs to handle the billing, payments and customer inquiries of Time-Of-Use customers.
Can I get out of the agreement anytime?
Yes. There will be a termination or exit fee equivalent to the remaining portion of the incremental metering and other additional costs associated with the Time-Of-Use implementation.
How can I apply for TOU?
Customers with at least a 5 kilowatt average demand may apply for TOU. Interested parties such as SMEs may contact (632) 1622-3763 or email email@example.com
Residential customers may inquire at Meralco Business Centers or call the TOU Helpline at telephone number 632-8008 for details on TOU application. Click Here to download the TOU Application Form for residential customers.