How to Compute Your Meralco Bill: An Ultimate Guide

Last Updated on 10/12/2021 by FilipiKnow

There’s nothing more shocking than receiving an unexpectedly high electricity bill from Meralco. This situation, aptly called “Bill Shock”, leaves you wondering if you were wrongfully charged or if there was a mistake in the computation.

Most of the time, however, it’s because of the changes in our lifestyle. 

Now, in the new normal, it has been increasingly becoming more common for people to stay at home. We are expanding the range of activities we do at home to include both work and entertainment. 

As more and more of us are staying at home for much longer hours, it is important now more than ever to know exactly what goes into your Meralco bill1 and how it is computed. 

 

What You Need to Find in Your Meralco Bill for the Computation.

First, prepare your Meralco bill and check the second page. You’ll find the 4 most important things you need to compute for your Meralco bill in the Metering Information section. 

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  1. Meter Number. To compute your Meralco bill, you first need to know which meter to read. The meter number on your bill identifies which meter has been assigned to you. On your meter itself, you will find that same number on the front. 
  2. Pres Rdg (Present Reading). This shows you the reading for your scheduled monthly meter reading date. You can check your monthly meter reading date under the Billing Info section of the first page of your bill.
  3. Prev Rdg (Previous Reading). This shows you the meter reading from the previous month at the previous scheduled meter reading date. 
  4. Registered. This is your registered kWh consumption for the month. It is calculated by subtracting the previous reading from the present reading and then multiplying that by the Mult (Multiplier) shown on your bill. To illustrate:

       (Pres Rdg – Prev Rdg) x Mult = Registered

 

How to Compute Your Meralco Bill.

Now that you know what goes into your bill, you can now compute your personal electrical consumption for yourself. There are two commonly used methods:  

Method 1: Reading Your Electric Meter.

This is the same method used by Meralco when they visit your household for a meter reading. Reminder: Check first if it has the same meter number as shown on your bill (see the previous section).

Reading meters is simple, but there are a few different kinds of meters you should learn about:

1. Digital Meter.

how to compute meralco bill 2
Image via residential.meralco.com.ph

It has a digital display where you can easily read your current kWh consumption. Note that this may not be your Pres Rdg yet. Your Pres Rdg is your meter reading on the next monthly meter reading date shown on your bill. You can compute for your Meralco bill as follows: 

What you need:

  • Registered = (Pres Rdg – Prev Rdg) x Mult
  • ₱/kWh – The latest rate or how much Meralco charges per kWh (check out the FAQ section below for more info)

Formula:

Registered x ₱/kWH = Your Estimated Bill for the Month 

2. Electromechanical Meter.

how to compute meralco bill 3
Image via residential.meralco.com.ph

It has 4 dials labeled A, B, C & D from left to right. Similar to a timer, numbers 0 to 9 are displayed in each dial.

You need to record the number that the arrow has passed in each dial. Reading these numbers in the order of left to right will give you your kWh consumption. Use the same computation from the digital meter section to compute your bill for the month. 

3. Submeter.

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A submeter is typically installed in shared properties such as condominiums and apartments. Meralco allows the use of submeters, but they do not handle their billing, maintenance, and installation. Instead, landlords check the main meter and submeters to find out the share of each tenant in the electricity bill. 

Submeters are read the same as a typical meter and you can find out the registered kWh for the month the same way. The total kWh for the whole property can be read from the main meter, the one installed by Meralco. You can compute the bill for your submeter by: 

       Total Meralco Bill / Registered (Main Meter) = ₱/kWH 

       ₱/kWH x Registered (Submeter) = Your Share of the Bill for the Month 

 

Method 2: Compute Your Appliances’ Electrical Consumption.

This method is a more predictive approach to computing your Meralco bill. By checking the electrical consumption of each of your appliances, you can get ideas on where you can save.  

You can do this manually or by using one of the many available online tools: 

1. Manual Computation.

To manually compute the kWh of each of your appliances you can use any of the methods below: 

a. Compute using the wattage (W).  

You can find this in the device manual or on the back or bottom of your appliance. This is the maximum power that your appliance uses so your computations may result in a much higher estimate.

To compute, simply multiply wattage (W) by the number of hours used per day. Then, divide that by 1000 since a kilowatt is equivalent to 1000 watts. To Illustrate: 

      (W x Hours Used per Day)/1000 = kWh per Day 

      kWh per Day x Days in a Month = kWh per Month 

b. Compute using the amps (A) and volts (V).  

Some appliances don’t list their watts. Instead, they only show amps (A). To convert amps to watts, simply multiply it by the voltage (V). In the Philippines, the most common voltage is 220V for appliances using a flat plug. 

       A x V = W 

Now that you have your wattage, you can now use the same formula presented previously to determine how many kWh your appliance consumes per day or per month.

c. Measure power usage using a power meter.

This is the most accurate method. A power meter measures the actual electricity usage of your appliance. Depending on the power meter, it can be set to measure W or kWh. 

Now that you have the kWh for each of your appliances, simply multiply that by the Meralco kWh rate for the current month to get your estimated electricity cost. 

2. Meralco Appliance Calculator (App).

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Available through the Meralco mobile app, the Meralco Appliance Calculator can quickly calculate how much each of your appliances costs you per month, per week, per day, and per hour. 

Like the manual method, you need the wattage of your appliances. Then you simply enter it on the app, alongside the monthly bill amount, type of appliance, and usage rate. Repeat this process for each of your appliances. 

3. DOE’s Wattmatters Calculator (Online Tool).

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There are many online tools available for computing your appliances’ electricity consumption. Among them is the Wattmatters calculator, a project by the Philippine Department of Energy to promote an energy-efficient mindset among Filipinos. What’s great about their calculator is that you can choose from a list of appliances and brands commonly found in the Philippines. They also adjust the computation based on where you are located. 

To use the Wattmatters calculator: 

  1. Go to Wattmatters calculator website
  2. Click on the Calculate Now button 
  3. Choose an appliance from the list 
  4. Choose a brand from the list 
  5. Choose a brand model from the list 
  6. Choose how many hours you use that appliance per day 
  7. Enter your municipality and click on the magnifying glass icon. The current Meralco rate will be displayed. 
  8. Lastly, click on the Calculate button. The calculator will now display the daily and monthly costs of using that appliance. 
 

How Computing Your Meralco Bill Can Help You.

Now that you know how to compute your Meralco bill and how each of your appliances contributes to it, you are now ready to adjust how you consume energy. Here’s how: 

1. kWh per Day.

Understanding your daily consumption habits can tell you which days you consume the most electricity and what you can change to save. New habits such as turning off appliances, lights, and electronics when you don’t need them can lower your kWh per day. 

2. kWh per Appliance.

Knowing which appliances consume the most electricity can help you trim down your usage or find alternatives. Here are some energy-conserving tips2 when using appliances in a typical household: 

  • Refrigerators. Use at least two-thirds of the space in your refrigerator to optimize its energy consumption.
  • Computers. Turn down the brightness and choose a power saving setting on your computer to save on electricity. 
  • Air-conditioners. Install an automatic power off timer on your air-conditioner. DOE recommends setting your thermostat to 25°C. You can save as much as 5-7% of the air-conditioner’s electricity cost for every degree higher on your thermostat setting.
  • Lights. Replace inefficient bulbs with LED lighting. 
  • TVs. TVs still consume electricity even with the power off. Unplug them when not in use. 

For additional tips on how you can save on your Meralco bill, see this article

 

Other Factors That Can Affect Your Meralco Bill.

Unlike your electricity usage habits, there are some factors that affect your Meralco bill that are out of your control. These are listed by Meralco3 as:

  • ECQ & the New Normal. There is an unavoidable increase in electricity consumption in households as we do more activities at home. These include an increased use of computers, TVs, electric fans, and air-conditioners. By filling our refrigerators with more food, it will also need to consume more electricity to maintain its temperature. 
  • High Heat Index. Due to a hotter environment, appliances such as refrigerators and air-conditioners need to work harder to reach the right temperature. This can affect how much electricity is being consumed by these appliances. 
  • Meralco Rate Increase. Meralco itself may increase how much they charge for each kWh. As of September 2021, the price has been increasing for 6 consecutive months. Currently, the rate is ₱9.1091 per kWh. 
 

What You Are Paying for in Your Meralco Bill.

Ever wondered where exactly the money you are paying Meralco goes to? There are so many charges listed on the Meralco bill and it may not be clear to you what each of them means. 

There are many organizations involved in the production of the electricity that goes to your home. Meralco oversees the collection of payments from consumers before distributing the share of payment to each organization involved. This makes it simple for us, the consumer, since we’ll only have one bill to think about. 

Here are the different charges: 

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Image via residential.meralco.com.ph
  • Generation Charge – This goes to the generation companies that supply power to Meralco. This makes up around 55% of your Meralco bill. 
  • Transmission Charge – This goes to the NGCP (National Grid Corporation of the Philippines). They are responsible for delivering electricity from generation companies to Meralco’s own distribution system. This makes up around 10.1% of your Meralco bill.
  • System Loss Charge – This charge is used to cover the recovery of power lost due to non-technical and technical system losses. Together with Feed-in Tariff Allowance, they make up around 5.7% of your Meralco bill. 
  • Distribution ChargeThis is the only charge that goes to Meralco. It is used to cover their various activities, including the operation and maintenance of the distribution system that delivers the electricity to your home. This makes up around 17.5% of your Meralco bill. 
  • Meter Charge – This is the charge for the reading, operation and maintenance of meter facilities and equipment. 
  • Supply Charge – This is the charge for troubleshooting, billing, collection, and the other services needed by customers. 
  • Subsidies, Lifeline & Senior Discounts – This charge covers the discounts given to marginalized, low-income customers and senior citizens who use only up to 100kWh per month.  
  • Taxes & Universal Charges – These include value-added tax, local franchise tax, tax recovery adjustment charge, missionary electrification charge, and environmental charge, among others. Together with the subsidies, they make up around 11.7% of your Meralco bill. 
 

Tips & Warnings.

  • When shopping for a new appliance, check for the Meralco Orange Tag4. It will show you the appliance’s estimated cost consumption as tested by Meralco’s Power Labs. You can also check their website for a list of brands and models that they have already tested. 
  • Choose appliances that use inverter technology. Based on Meralco’s Power Labs tests5, you can save as much as 50% on your refrigerator’s energy cost and 25%-64% of your air-conditioner’s energy cost if you choose to use inverter technology. 
  • Appliances become less energy efficient as they age. To avoid surprises, consider using a power meter to check the actual usage of your older appliances. 
 

Frequently Asked Questions.

1. How much does Meralco charge per kWh? 

As of September 20216, Meralco charges ₱9.1091 per kWh. Keep in mind that this latest rate comes from a price hike going on 6 straight months. So, make sure to check the rate at your preferred online news source each time you are computing your bill. Meralco also publishes a detailed charge-by-charge summary schedule of rates at their rates archive. You can check how much each charge, such as generation or transmission, costs per kWh.

2. What is the average Meralco bill for a residential household in the Philippines? 

A research study published in June 2021 by the Statista Research Department7 found that Philippine residential households used on average about 248.1kWh in 2015. 

3. When is my meter read by Meralco? 

Monthly. You can check your Meralco bill for the date of your meter reading for the upcoming month. 

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4. Can Meralco pull out my meter? 

Yes. Your meter is owned by Meralco so they can pull it out if it needs to be inspected and repaired, if you requested it, or if the electric service has been terminated. 

5. Is there a senior citizen discount for the Meralco bill? 

Yes. A 5% discount on certain parts of the bill can be received by seniors if their consumption is less than 100 kWh. To get the discount, the senior must go to their local Meralco business center. 

 

References.

  1. Understanding Your Bill. (2020). Retrieved 10 October 2021, from https://residential.meralco.com.ph/billings-and-payments/understanding-your-bill
  2. Energy Efficiency FAQs. Retrieved 10 October 2021, from https://company.meralco.com.ph/faq-about/energy-efficiency
  3. Understanding Your High Bill. Retrieved 10 October 2021, from https://company.meralco.com.ph/news-and-advisories/understanding-your-may-bill
  4. Orange Tag. Retrieved 10 October 2021, from https://residential.meralco.com.ph/products-services-and-programs/orange-tag
  5. General Tips. Retrieved 10 October 2021, from https://residential.meralco.com.ph/products-services-and-programs/bright-ideas/general-tips
  6. Rey, A. (2021). For 6th straight month, Meralco rates up in September 2021. Retrieved 10 October 2021, from https://www.rappler.com/business/meralco-electricity-rates-september-2021
  7. Household electricity consumption per capita in the Philippines from 2000 to 2016 (in kilowatt hours). (2021). Retrieved 10 October 2021, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/600115/household-consumption-of-electricity-per-capita-in-the-philippines/

Rod Michael Perez

Rod Michael Perez is a freelance writer with over 7 years of experience in writing long-form articles, ad copy, and SEO content for local and foreign clients. He is also an aspiring startup founder and believes that the Philippines could be the next hub for startup culture. He takes care of his dog, a poodle-Shih Tzu hybrid, in his spare time.

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