No More Bill Shock: How to Compute Your Meralco Bill and Electricity Consumption

Published: July 29, 2021 | Posted by: Venus Zoleta | Personal Finance


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Don’t you just hate getting shocked by how much your electricity bill has increased compared to previous months? Especially now that you’re mostly at home, your electric consumption is probably higher than before. This is also because Meralco rates are up for the fourth straight month this July.[1] 

But if it’s any consolation, you’re not the only consumer surprised by Meralco’s current rate hikes. In fact, the increase in Meralco’s per kilowatt rate in 2021 has prompted more than 100,000 consumers to create a Facebook group[2] to raise complaints about their electricity bills. 

Amid the financial impacts of the pandemic which we’re all still struggling to overcome, we don’t need additional financial strain from constantly increasing utility bills. So here’s a guide to help you understand the reasons for the recent Meralco rate hikes and how to compute Meralco bill to avoid bill shock. 

Breaking Down Your Meralco Bill Payment

According to Meralco, only 17% of your total bill[3] goes to the company. This means that if your total bill for June 2021 is PHP 3,000, only PHP 510 of this goes to Meralco.

So where does the rest of your payment go? Here’s the breakdown.

55% to Generation Charge

The Generation Charge goes to paying Meralco’s electricity suppliers, like the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and other power producers. 

10.1% to Transmission Charge

The transmission charge is also known as the delivery charge. When Meralco buys electricity from its power suppliers, it pays 10.1% for the cost of delivery for the electricity to reach Meralco’s distribution system. The transmission charge goes to the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), which is the provider of transmission services. 

17.5% to Distribution Charge

Meralco takes 17.5% from your bill to cover the cost of distribution, which pays for the construction, development, operation, and maintenance of the distribution system. This distribution system is used in delivering electricity from high-voltage transmission grids to end-users. 

11.7% for Taxes

This covers local franchise tax, Value Added Tax, Tax Recovery Adjustment Charge (TRAC), and Missionary Electrification Charge, just to name a few. 

5.7% for Other Charges

System loss and Feed-in-Tariff Allowance compose other payables covered by your Meralco bill. A portion of your payment also goes to subsidies provided as a lifeline for low-income customers and senior citizens through a discount of 5% on their bills.

Factors Affecting Your Electricity Bill

According to Meralco, there are a lot of factors contributing to the increased rates. In June, charges at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) increased by PHP 1.6322 per kWh because of the tight supply conditions in the Luzon grid.[4]

Below are other factors you should be aware of.

1. High Heat Index and Increased Demand

Heat index, also known as the apparent temperature, is what the temperature feels like to the human body when relative humidity is combined with the air temperature.[5] The highest heat index recorded so far this year is 52°C in Dagupan.[6] 

When the heat index is high, appliances at home are forced to work harder and longer to cope with the temperature. From April to June of this year, high heat indexes prompted the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines to issue red alerts and implement rotational brownouts in Luzon.  

In contrast, during rainy months, the temperature is colder. You won’t feel the need to use the air conditioner or electric fan as much, resulting in lower electricity consumption. 

2. Month-on-Month Rate and Consumption Increase

If you hate surprises like a sudden and significant spike in your Meralco bill, then you need to prepare your budget. Before your next Meralco bill arrives, know how to compute your electric consumption for the month based on Meralco’s announced  rate increase. This  will help you correctly compute your potential bill for the month. Here are Meralco’s rate increases since April of this year.

April[7] = PHP 0.0872/kWh to PHP 8.406/kWh

  • PHP 17.44 for 200 kWh
  • PHP 26.16 for 300 kWh
  • PHP 34.88 for 400 kWh
  • PHP 43.60 for 500 kWh 

May[8] = PHP 0.1853/kWh to PHP 8.59/kWh

  • PHP 37.06 for 200 kWh
  • PHP 55.59 for 300 kWh
  • PHP 74.12 for 400 kWh
  • PHP 92.65 for 500 kWh 

June[9] = PHP 0.0798/kWh to PHP 8.6718/kWh

  • PHP 15.96 for 200 kWh
  • PHP 23.94 for 300 kWh
  • PHP 31.92 for 400 kWh
  • PHP 39.90 for 500 kWh 

July[10] = PHP 0.2353/kWh to PHP 8.9071/kWh

  • PHP 47.06 for 200 kWh
  • PHP 70.59 for 300 kWh
  • PHP 94.12 for 400 kWh
  • PHP 117.65 for 500 kWh 

This also shows how a household with 200kWh consumption paid an additional PHP 17.44 in April and PHP 37.06 in May. 

  • April – PHP 8.4067 per kWh x 200 = PHP 1,681.34
  • May – PHP 8.59 per kWh x 200 = PHP 1,718.00

The difference in billing for April and May is PHP 36.66, which is still manageable even with the rate increase in May. So even if your electric consumption is the same but the electricity rates increased, you will still see an increase in your electricity bill. 

But it’s different when your electricity consumption increases and Meralco rates also increase. Here’s the difference when you increase your consumption to 300 kWh: 

  • April – PHP 8.4067 per kWh x 200 kWh = PHP 1,681.34
  • May – PHP 8.59 per kWh x 300 kWh = PHP 2,577.00

The additional 100 kWh on your consumption costs PHP 895.66, which is a significant amount. This can be a surprise for most, especially if you’re not aware of your increased consumption and increase in Meralco’s  electricity rate. 

3. Type of Appliance

how to compute Meralco bill - aircon consumption
Photo from Meralco Facebook page

If you want to learn how to compute your Meralco bill, you should know that the type, quantity, and quality of your appliances can greatly affect your consumption rates. 

How to Compute Electric Consumption of an Appliance 

To compute  how many kWh an appliance uses, follow this formula:

Wattage/1,000 x number of hours the appliance is used

For a 1HP, 950-watt, non-inverter air conditioner, here’s a sample  computation. 

  • 950 watts /1,000 = 0.95 x 10 hours = 9.5 kWh
  • 9.5 kWh x PHP 8.9071/kWh = PHP 84.5595
ApplianceWattageCost Per HourCost Per Day if 10 Hrs/DayCost Per WeekRate Per Month
Air Conditioner (Non-Inverter, Window Type, 1HP)950PHP 8.46PHP 84.60PHP 592.20PHP 2,368.80
Regular Stand Fan150PHP 1.50PHP 15.00PHP 105.00PHP 42.00

Quantity and Duration of Use

Indeed, if you’re using air conditioners instead of electric fans, your electric consumption will be higher. However, if you’re using more than one electric fan all for extended hours, then your electricity consumption will be the same as when you’re using an aircon. 

Quality of Appliances in Use

Did you know that an older refrigerator consumes 66% more electricity[10] compared to a newer model of refrigerator? Every appliance loses its energy efficiency as it ages. If you know which  appliances you’re using the most at home and their condition, you’ll have a good idea of how much your bill would be each month. 

Learn How to Read Your Electric Meter

how to compute Meralco bill - reading an electric meter

Your electric meter plays a critical role on learning how to compute Meralco bill. Meralco uses your meter readings for the past month and present month to determine your total electricity usage in kilowatt per hour (kWh), which is the basis for computing your monthly bill.

Why bother reading your meter yourself? Even if Meralco has trained meter readers who can do the job accurately, being able to read your electric meter lets you keep track of your power consumption to ensure that your household isn’t consuming too much electricity.

If your electric meter has a small digital screen display, finding out your electricity consumption is pretty simple and straightforward. Just read the numbers from left to right.

You have an electromechanical meter if it has four dials instead of a digital numerical display. It looks more complicated than a digital meter because its dials move in opposite directions (two moving clockwise and the other two moving counter-clockwise). But it’s actually easy to read. Simply take note of the number that each dial is pointing at, beginning from the rightmost dial to the leftmost dial.

Record your reading this month and subtract it from your reading for the following month. The resulting kWh may not match the actual kWh reflected on your next Meralco bill (as Meralco’s meter reading date may be different from yours), but it at least gives you an estimate of your monthly power consumption.

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How to Compute Meralco Bill 

Many different factors affect electricity prices, and they change from time to time. Also, the monthly bill consists of several electricity charges that Meralco calculates using various percentages. A Meralco bill might be too complicated for an average consumer to comprehend.

So if you’re trying to figure out how to compute Meralco bill, know that it’s impossible to do on your own. You won’t know in advance the exact amount to pay for a particular month until your bill arrives.

However, if you’re aiming to save on your electric bill, you can compute the cost of using each appliance and electronic device in your home.

Read more about Meralco: A Guide to Paying Electricity Bills with Meralco Online

How to Compute Electric Consumption in the Philippines

how to compute Meralco bill - electric consumption philippines

Manual Computation

Follow these steps to manually estimate the electricity consumption of a specific device:

  1. Get your device’s wattage. Find this information at the bottom or back of the device, or in the owner’s manual. You may also try searching the device’s technical specs online.
  2. Compute the watts the device consumes daily. Multiply the wattage by the average number of hours the device is used per day. Let’s say you use a 100-watt electric fan for 10 hours per day. Multiplying 100 watts by 10 hours will result in 1,000 watt-hours—that’s how much your electric fan consumes in a day.
  3. Convert watt-hours to kilowatts. Divide the device’s watt-hours by 1,000 to convert it to kilowatts, which is the unit of measurement used in a Meralco bill. In the example above, 1,000 watt-hours divided by 1,000 is equal to 1 kWh consumption per day.
  4. Compute the device’s monthly power consumption. Multiply your device’s daily kWh by 30 days to determine how much it consumes per month. The monthly usage for an electric fan consuming 1 kWh daily is 30 kWh.

List down the monthly electricity usage of your appliances and devices and rank them from highest to lowest. This will let you know which ones consume the most electricity and should be used less and unplugged more often.

Online Computation Using the Meralco Calculator

The formula discussed above is a just simplified approach to estimating your monthly electricity consumption. If you want to know the cost of using your home appliances and devices, use an online calculator that will compute it for you. You may use either the Meralco Appliance Calculator or Wattmatters Calculator.

How to Use Meralco Appliance Calculator

how to compute meralco bill - meralco calculator

The best way to compute electric consumption is to use the Meralco calculator, which is currently available on the Meralco Mobile app only.

You may access the Meralco Appliance Calculator without having to register for an account or logging in (if you already have an account).

After installing the Meralco mobile app, you can start computing the electricity cost of your appliances. Here’s how:

  1. Tap on the Appliance Calculator icon.
  2. Enter your average monthly bill amount. Just estimate the average based on your latest Meralco billing statements.
  3. Pick an appliance from the drop-down menu. Tap the Set button. The app will show you the appliance’s wattage.
  4. Choose the number of hours you use the appliance in a day. Select also the number of days in a week and weeks in a month the appliance is used.
  5. Tap the Calculate button. You’ll see the electricity cost per hour, day, week, and month of your appliance.

Using the Meralco Mobile app, you can compute only for one appliance at a time. You have to repeat the entire procedure if you want to compute your electricity cost for other appliances.

Online Computation Using the Wattmatters Calculator

how to compute meralco bill - wattmeters calculator

A project by the Department of Energy that promotes energy efficiency, Wattmatters.org.ph has an online consumption calculator that lets you find out how much each of your appliance contributes to your monthly Meralco bill.

Unlike the Meralco Appliance Calculator, the Wattmatter Calculator allows computing for two or more appliances simultaneously to get your total monthly bill.

Here are the steps to compute your Meralco bill using the Wattmatters calculator:

  1. Go to Wattmatter’s Consumption Calculator page (wattmatters.org.ph/consumption/calc).
  2. Click the Calculate Now button.
  3. Select an appliance and the brand and model you have at home.
  4. Choose the number of hours you use the appliance per day.
  5. Enter your city or town.
  6. Click the Search icon. The system will show the electricity price per kWh for the appliance.
  7. Click the Calculate button to see the electricity cost of the appliance per day.
  8. Keep adding other appliances to the Meralco bill computation by repeating all the previous steps per appliance.
  9. When you’re done adding all your appliances, check your monthly bill at the bottom of the table.

Read more: Pay Bills Online with These Convenient E-Payment Services

How to File a Complaint for Meralco Bill

Do you have concerns about your Meralco bill? Is your electric bill way higher than last month’s? For such concerns, you can contact Meralco through the following:

  • Residential Hotline: 16211
  • Business Hotline: 16210
  • Email: customercare@meralco.com.ph

You can also use the Meralco Mobile app and the Meralco Online website to file a complaint. Just head to the Contact Us page for both the app and website.

FAQs on How to Compute Meralco Bill

1. How much is the Meralco rate per kWh in 2021?

The Meralco rate per kWh for 2021 has seen an increase since April. For July 2021, the rate is PHP 8.9071/kWh.

2. How do you compute electric consumption using a submeter?

It’s the same as computing through the main Meralco meter. The rate, however, will depend on your agreement with the primary owner of the Meralco account. 

3. How do you pay for your Meralco bill using a credit card?

You can pay your Meralco bill via credit card in three ways:

  • Auto Payment Arrangement – Set up Auto Credit via Meralco Online and your card will be charged every Meralco due date. 
  • Meralco app – On the official Meralco app, enter your credit card details and amount due. A payment gateway will then process your payment with a minimum service charge of PHP 15. 
  • Credit card app/website – Log in to your credit card account on mobile or a web browser. Just take note of your Customer Account Number. 

Here are a few credit cards you can use to pay Meralco bills:

  • HSBC credit cards – Enroll your Meralco account as a New Payee and get 4x bonus points per PHP 20 spend
  • Citi Cash Back credit card – Earn up to 2% cashback on Meralco bill payments through Citibank Online or Citi One Bill

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Final Thoughts

Knowing how to compute Meralco bill can save you a lot of  stress come bills payment time. Understanding the factors that affect your monthly bill can help you  cut down on electricity usage as well. Just like paying for your Meralco bill, computing it in advance is  somewhat painful but necessary to ensure your household electricity consumption is under control. 

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