Shocked by your current Meralco electricity bill? Us too.

With Covid-19 outbreak, the last two previous Meralco bills (March & April 2020) we were told that it was generated based 3 month’s electricity consumption average before that billing period. This meant that March & April bills did not reflect the increased consumption of the household with everyone at home 24/7 and the effects of summer heat as well. With Meralco staff now reading the electric meters for May 2020 bill, it is expected that it will reflect the actual electricity consumption for the month of May, as well as the consumptions that were not charged for the previous two months.

Find out how you can check and compute the electricity consumption of your household and see if you’re overcharged by Meralco.


Check for Meter Reading Error

If you already have your May 2020 bill, go to the back page and search for the Pres Rdg (Present Reading) under Metering Information.

Note this number. We shall refer to this as May 2020 Bill Reading.

Check your electric meter and note the current reading. We shall refer to this as Current Reading.

Current Reading is in the Red Box

If the Current Reading is greater than the May 2020 Bill Reading, then Meralco did not make any mistake in your meter reading and computing your bill. In fact the difference is what you already consumed from the time Meralco read up to the time that you checked your meter.

If the Current Reading is less than the May 2020 Bill Reading, then Meralco overcharged you. Contact Meralco and tell them that your Current Reading is less than the meter reading in your May 2020 bill.

Better if you take a picture of your bill showing the Pres Rdg and your meter showing the current reading (in one photo) and send it to [email protected]

To know more how your electricity bill was computed, read the Estimating how much your May 2020 Electricity Bill section of this post.

Example: Correct meter reading

May 2020 Bill Reading828 kWh
Current Reading1,000 kWh

828kWh < 1,000 kWh, therefore Meralco made the correct meter reading. And you have already consumed the difference (172 kWh) from the time Meralco read your meter to the time you read your meter.

Example: Overcharged meter reading

May 2020 Bill Reading828 kWh
Current Reading700 kWh

828 kWh > 700 kWh, therefore Meralco overcharged 128 kWh in your bill.


Estimating how much your May 2020 Electricity Bill

If you have not yet received your May 2020 bill (just like me) we can check how much electricity you have already consumed and estimate how much you will have to pay.

I am stressing out that this is only an ESTIMATE and will not be your actual bill. If Meralco still has not read your meter yet most likely if you do the steps below the Pres Rdg on your bill will be higher.

1. Get the Pres Rdg of the February 2020 bill.

We shall refer to this as February Bill Reading.

February 2020 Pres Rdg

2. Get the Total KWH of the March 2020 bill

This is located in the front page of your bill.

We shall refer to this as March Bill Consumption.

Note: We have Applied Credits for this bill that is why Total current amount is lower than usual.

You can also find this on the Metering Information on the back of your bill.

Notice that the Prev Rdg (Previous Reading) and the Pres Rdg (Present Reading) are blank. This is because March 2020 and April 2020 bills are averaged from the last 3 month Total KWH.

3. Get the Total KWH of the April 2020 bill

We shall refer to this as April Bill Consumption.

4. Get the Current Meter Reading

We shall refer to this as May Current Meter Reading.

May 19, 2020 Current Meter Reading.

Note: Next meter reading is on May 24, 2020

5. Compute estimated KWH the May 2020 bill will use

Here are my numbers so far.

(A) February Bill Reading828 kWh
(B) March Bill Consumption111 kWh
(C) April Bill Consumption128 kWh
(D) May Current Meter Reading1627 kWh

Formula for kWh consumption from February 2020 (A) to May 2020 (D) Current Meter Reading.

D - A = Feb to May kWh Consumption (E)

1627 - 828 = 799 kWh (E)

We then remove the March 2020 (B) and April 2020 (C) Bill Consumptions since this has already been charged.

E - B - C = May 2020 Estimated Bill Consumption (F)

799 - 111 - 128 = 560 kWh (F)

6. Compute estimate on how much May 2020 bill will be

From the April 2020 bill we can compute for the estimated average price per kWh.

Total current amount / Total KWH = Estimated Average Price per kWh (G)

₱1160.17 / 128 kWh = ₱9.0638 / kWh (G)**

Then we can compute for the estimated bill of my current consumption for May 2020.

F * G = Estimated Bill May 2020 from Current Meter Reading (H)

560 kWh * ₱9.0638/kWh = ₱5,075.73 (H)

Now that we have computed everything, let’s put it on a table along with my past bills to make it easy to understand.

DescriptionConsumption (kWh)Bill Amount (₱)
Dec 2019 Bill92737.68
Jan 2020 Bill98750.76
Feb 2020 Bill1671,484.03
Mar 2020 Bill*111997.67
Apr 2020 Bill*1281160.17
May 2020 Estimated Bill5605,075.73
* Average of the previous 3 months consumption

I read the electric meter on May 19 and there is still 5 days to go before Meralco reads our meter (May 24), so I am expecting that my REAL May 2020 Bill will be greater than the May 2020 Estimated Bill here.

I just experienced pre-bill shock. At least I get to practice being shocked before my bill arrives.

Will update this post once the real May 2020 Bill arrives.

** This is an oversimplification of the price per kWh, but enough to give you an idea on how big your bill will be. A lot of factors affect the price of electricity, there are fixed monthly charges and kWh consumption based charges. Meralco also announced a reduction in the rates this May.


Why is the kWh consumption so high in May 2020 Bill?

You might have noticed from the computation we made above that we are mostly dealing with meter reading or the electricity consumption (kWh). The increase in your bill is not because the price of what Meralco charges has gone up but due to increase in our electricity consumption plus March and April bills were under billed due to the 3 month average rule.

We were under billed last March and April 2020 due to the 3 month average consumption rule.

To give you an example, my wife and I are both work-from-home even before COVID-19 happened, actually for more than 5 years now.

The statement that we stayed more at home due to the Enhance Community Quarantine (ECQ) does not apply to us. We are always at home.

We bought an aircon in late January 2020, that is why there is a spike in kWh consumption on February. Let us just say we stress tested the new aircon (16 °C settings around 8 hours per night).

March (111 kWh) and April (128 kWh) bill went down due to Meralco implementing the average of previous 3 months consumption. December 2019 and January 2020 was considered on the average, this was when we still did not have an aircon.

In reality our electricity consumption on March and April went higher due to summer heat and humidity. Our aircon was running almost 24 hours. Let us also include our electric fans running for almost 24 hours. As of this writing it almost still is.

March (111 kWh) and April (128 kWh) meter readings should be much much higher than the February meter reading (167 kWh).

In short, we were under billed last March and April due to the 3 month average consumption rule. And we have to pay the electricity we used that was not charged last March and April this May 2020.

We already used the service so we will need to pay for it. I can only point the blame to my wife ourselves for having a huge kWh consumption.

This coming May 2020 bill will surely make a dent to our monthly budget even if made sure to pay all our Meralco bills before their due date. We have not experienced having arrears due to Meralco. My wife and I will try to pay this in full.

You may also check how much your daily average electricity here.


Other Scenarios

What if you were in the house on December 2019, January 2020 and February 2020 and left your house before ECQ came?

I think you will fall under the Meralco’s Understanding your Bill Section 3. It is still best if you contact Meralco for questions.

If you still get a bill shock this May and no one was using your house, then check your meter reading. If the meter reading in your bill is correct, you should report this to Meralco to investigate what happened why electricity was running in your house when lights and appliances were off.


Author’s Notes

You can read more about May 2020 Bill Shock on the following Meralco Links

Update May 24, 2020: Meralco now offers monthly installment for bills due from March 1 to May 31, 2020.

From Meralco Facebook post.

I think we are not covered with this installment plan since our Meter Reading date is on the 24th of the month and our usual due date is the 2nd of the next month. So when we receive our bill for May, the due date will be around June 2, 2020.

Meralco does not provide the breakdown of the day to day kWh consumption. This is due to the Type of Meter that Meralco uses, it does not store day-to-day consumption data. Unless, the meters can now do this.

They have a type of service called Peak, Off-Peak (PoP) where the price of electricity during the day and the night is different. I am not sure if you are availing this you can get a breakdown of your daily usage.

If you are a geek who has a thing for detailed electricity consumption, you might want to check WattSmart.

I am not an employee of Meralco nor am I paid to write this. I just want people to understand how their bill is computed and to check first the truth before getting angry at their service provider.


P. S.

I already estimated my coming bill and I am still shocked.

If you have questions, comments or spotted an error on the above let me know on the comments below.