I. What is system loss? Why are consumers charged
System loss is considered inherent in the electric distribution business since it is not possible to provide electric service without incurring some form of natural losses like electricity that escapes as heat, which is called technical loss. Even without customer demand, the distribution system remains energized and always ready to deliver power to customers. Another form of system loss, called non-technical loss, mainly comprises of:
- Pilferage (illegal connection, jumper and meter tampering)
- Commercial loss (reading & billing errors, defective meters and devices)
Electric distribution utilities in other countries, such as Australia, implement regulated charges as part of the compensation for system losses. In the Philippines, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), allows the following system losses’ charge cap:
- 8.5% for private distribution utilities(i.e. Meralco, Visayan Electric Company, Davao Light and Power, Angeles Electric)
- 13% for electric cooperatives (i.e. Pampanga II Electric Cooperative, Leyte Electric Cooperative, Agusan Del Norte Electric Cooperative)
Currently, Meralco’s system loss charge is at 6.5%, lower than the prescribed system loss cap.
II. What is Kuryente Watch?
Kuryente Watch is an anti-power pilferage program of Meralco in cooperation with concerned citizens and local barangays.
III. How do I report power pilferage cases?
Reports are treated with utmost confidentiality. The tipster, the individual reporting power pilferage cases through any of the available channels, is assured of non-disclosure of identity. To aid Meralco in providing optimum and efficient service, the following information are requested from the tipster:
- SIN (if available)
- Exact Location/Address (house/block&lot no., street, subd., bgy., municipality/city, province)
- Nearest landmark (nearest street or establishment)
- Violator’s Name (if known)
- Time and type of illegal activity (e.g. jumper, direct connection on pole)
- Premise Type (residential/commercial)
IV. Where can I report power pilferage cases?
- Reporting via the Call Center
Contact us through our Call Center Hotline at 16211 or 631-1111. Our agents will guide you through theprocess.
- Walk-in at a Meralco Business Center
Our Business Center representatives are committed to resolving power pilferages with you. Find aMeralco Business Center near you through this link/listed below.
- Reporting via the Meralco website
An online form is provided for your convenience. Fill in and submit the Kuryente Watch Form. Oncereports are filed, a reference number will be provided to the tipster for future validation and statuscheck.
V. What happens after the report is filed?
An unannounced visit is conducted as soon as possible to verify the report by our Metering Security and Services offices. Because of the volume of pilferage reports, these visits are scheduled based on priority.
VI. I lost my reference number. How can I follow up my report?
If the tipster cannot supply the reference number during status check, the exact address will be used to track the report.
VII. What are the penalties involved in pilferage of electricity?
Republic Act 7832 or the Anti-Electricity Pilferage Act prohibits electricity pilferage. This is written in detail under sections Illegal Use of Electricity, Theft of Electric Power Transmission Lines and Materials and Prima Facie Evidence. The penalties for this crime are imprisonment from 6 years and 1 day up to 20 years, and/or payment of P10,000 up to P20,000. On top of this, culprit has to pay for the corresponding amount of the electricity and surcharge stolen.
VIII. What Is Meralco doing to lessen power pilferage?
Part of our continuous efforts are regular unannounced inspections and clearing operations to remove illegal service connections based on notoriety level.
For areas where illegal connections are quite rampant, the electric meters will be recommended for relocation to an Elevated Metering Center (EMC). Such measure goes through a meticulous process of project design, viability study and approval by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
Meralco’s Kuryente Watch seeks consumers’ support with the program given that illegal service connections pose high risk of electrical accidents, fire, brownouts and service fluctuations.
IX. I reported a jumper and was informed that it is out of Meralco’s scope.
The area reported might be outside Meralco’s franchise area. Meralco distributes electricity to the whole of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, majority of Laguna, portion of Batangas and Quezon, and few barangays in Pampanga. Your report can be properly tagged by providing the exact address.
X. I was previously identified as an illegal user of electricity. Does this mean I am not entitled to apply for legal electric service?
If arrears are settled and necessary documents are submitted, a customer has a right to receive assistance for electric service application.
An innovative program, the Prepaid Electricity Service, is enjoyed by customers who previously did not have their own electricity connection. Find out if you are within the coverage area by calling 1622-7737 or via our Call Center Hotline at 16211. To know more, visit a Meralco Business Center near you.