First prepaid electricity scheme in PH makes test run in Batangas

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The town of Calaca in Batangas is piloting the first implementation of a pre-paid electricity system called ?kuryentext?, the Phippine News Agency said in a report, adding that the test run is being conducted in Barangay Camastilisan. [caption id="attachment_7732" align="aligncenter" width="350" caption="Credit: vmobile888.weebly"][/caption] Close to 300 village residents have applied for the prepaid electricity loading service, which is being operated under the partnership of Batangas Electric Cooperative (Batelec) 1 and Xen Energy Systems Inc. The operators, however, said the pre-paid scheme is still in its pilot stage and is not yet on full commercial operations. This is after the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) issued a statement that the pre-paid system has not yet been given the go-signal by the agency. Once operational, Electric power consumer can buy loads of P100, P200 and P300 (currently limited to Globe users). Ricardo Macalagim, Batelec 1 power use section head, said prepaid electricity services could be expanded in the nearby barangays. ?The pilot project for six months is ideal for the marginalized consumers. It is voluntary for any coop member to apply and we expect less hassles under this transaction,? Macalagim said. He said the consumers can also monitor their power load through the pre-paid meter, by phone, or the Internet. With phones, consumer can check their balance by texting ?kwbalance? to 2861. Aside from employing security features such as passwords and user IDs, the pre-paid electricity loading scheme has an audit trail that can be used in case of complaints. A coop member-consumer, Liza Sakdalan, said the pre-paid electricity system can help her save extra income and avoid ?surprised billings? since she can easily monitor and control expense on her P1,200 average monthly post-paid bill. According to Batelec 1 officials, the coop members who opt for the 6-month trial period under the pre-paid electricity system may enter into a contract for a lock-in arrangement for two years. After this period, consumers are given the option to sustain the pre-paid arrangements or revert to the traditional post-paid monthly billing system and pay a charge. However, there is no additional charge for the meter, but the power rate for prepaid is the same as that in postpaid billing at P9/kwh. –– PNA ]]>

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