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Are MERALCO Residential Customers At Risk?

October 14, 2009


This post actually wrote itself: the complaint of a residential customer of MERALCO, the Lopez family-led largest electricity distribution firm.

But his is not of narrow interest given that it could very well be what others are going through.

Let me quote the inputs from complainant Robert Young:

Do you know Meralco is allowed to supply us power with voltage range of 207-253 volts?  One time a Whirlpool technician tested thee voltage at my place and it registered 265 volts. Appliance can get fried at high voltage, specially electronics like computers. Attached is a letter from Meralco regarding my complaint.

robert young complaint

If you have an electric clock, you will notice it runs faster because of the high voltage.

My three rechargeable vacuum got fried because of Meralco’s high voltage. It’s not true my voltage read 240v when their inspector came.

They just say that in the letter.

The situation needing resolution is self evident,

Let me just add my hope that MWRALCO’S  public affairs team, led by Mr. Joe Zaldarriaga and the indefatigable Dina Lomotan plus and their Corp Comm SVP Elpi Cuna will act speedily, as is their trademark.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 14, 2009 9:00 pm

    +/-10% variation is industry-standard. It is not voltage that dictates how expensive our electrical bills will be. The unit of measure Kw-h (kilowatt-hour) is enough to illustrate the point that computation of electrical consumption is “kilowatts-hour-driven” and not “voltage-driven”.

    Theoretically, if I have a lamp with specs “220V / 5watts” versus one with “110V / 10 watts” — everything else being equal — the latter would cost me more to run than the former. It stands to reason then, that if MERALCO suddenly supplies us surging voltages of 265VAC or more, it can and may fry your devices alright but it will not cause your electric meter to frantically turn because it turns for “kilowatts-hours consumed” not voltage delivered.

    Also, voltage will be affected when huge loads are introduced to the line to which you are directly connected, ie., welding machines, which may cause washing machines and TVs to instantly die.

    Power delivered to households is always single-phase analog — alternating. The value 220V we are familiar with is actually quoted in RMS value . That’s what voltage regulators were made for in the first place. So, to save yourself the headache of fried appliances and high electrical consumption, I will parrot what MERALCO always reminds us and then add some more:

    1. For the dearest of your appliances ( for all, if possible), get a reliable voltage regulator. It will make you sleep better at night.
    2. Before buying appliances, always look for wattages and compare.
    3. Also check its EER (energy efficiency rating). It basically tells you how efficient an electrical/electronic appliance is. The higher the rating, the more efficient it is.
    4. Check your desktop monitor’s wattage. If you use your desktop a lot, consider getting an LCD monitor — there are others that consume as low as 18W (in case you still use the conventional bulky CRT that uses up 90W or more).

    Disclaimer: This is just an opinion. For all we know, I might be wrong. But for the energy-saving tips, you can quote me on that. 🙂

    • October 18, 2009 4:47 am

      Yes and now.

      The cost for MERALCO to keep on supplying 220V to all customers is passed on to us, along with the inefficiencies, my own MERALCO sources tell me.

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