DECORP to refund residential meter deposits starting December 27, 2006
First distribution utility in Pangasinan, one of the first in the country, to refund meter deposits.
Refund Hotline: 522-0562
First batch of customers to receive refunds paid their meter deposits between Jan. 1, 1961 to Dec. 31, 1980
Question: What is the legal basis for the refund of meter deposits?
Answer: The refund of meter deposits is required by Section 8 of the Magna Carta for Residential Electricity Consumers which was promulgated by the Energy Regulatory Commission on Jun. 17, 2004. Section 8 of the Magna Carta states that "All consumers shall be exempt from the payment of meter deposits since private distribution utilities have incorporated the cost of these electric watt-hour meters in their rate base." The procedure for refunding the meter deposits is carried in the Guidelines to Implement Articles 7, 8, 14 and 28 of the Magna Carta for Residential Electricity Consumers issued by the Energy Regulatory Board on Oct. 27, 2004. Since DECORP cares for its customers, it has decided to be among the first in the country to refund residential meter deposits.
Q: What is the schedule of the payment of the refunds of meter deposits?
A: DECORP will refund all residential meter deposits based on the following schedule:
|Phase||Deposits paid during the following period||Start of refund|
|I and II||January 1, 1961 to December 31, 1980||December 27, 2006|
|III||January 1, 1981 to December 31, 1990||June 2007|
|IV||January 1, 1991 to December 31, 2000||December 2007|
|V||January 1, 2001 to July 18, 2004||June 2008|
Q: Who are qualified to the refund of meter deposits?
A: All active residential customers at the time of above scheduled payout are qualified to the refund of meter deposits.
Q: What about inactive or closed accounts?
A: As a matter of policy, DECORP refunds meter deposits of accounts as soon as the electric meter is withdrawn and service contracts is terminated. If this has not been received or applied for, the account holder can apply for a refund of the meter deposit at any time.
Q: What about those who paid their meter deposits before January 1, 1961? Are they still entitled to a refund of their meter deposits?
A:Those who paid their meter deposits before January 1, 1961 are still entitled to a refund of their meter deposits and are included in Phase I of the meter deposit refund schedule.
Q: What is the amount of the refund?
A: The amount of the refund for each qualified customer in Phase I and II will be the original meter deposit paid, plus interests of 6% per annum computed up to November 30, 2006
Q: What is the procedure to apply for the meter deposit refund?
A: All qualified residential customers will receive a Refund Notice together with their December 2006 bill informing them of the computed amount of refund, the date when his/her application for refund will be processed and the DECORP office where the application will be filed. To make the process as simple and easy as possible for the customer and to minimize congestion, DECORP has scheduled only 85 customers a day to file for the refund. A special Refund Desk with well-trained personnel has been set up to process the applications as quickly as possible. Persons who will apply for and claim the refund need to personally go to the designated DECORP office to file the application.
Q: When can the residential customer receive his refund?
A: The customer will receive the refund on the day of his/her filing, provided that all required documents are submitted, the account holder is in the name of a person rather than a legal entity like a corporation, and the amount of the refund is below P3,000.00.
Q: What is the mode of payment of the refund?
A: The payment will be in cash provided that the amount is less than P3,000.00 and the account holder is a person. If the amount is greater than P3,000.00, the amount will be paid by means of check. If the account holder is other than a person, the payment will be by means of check regardless of amount.
Q: If the payment will be in check, when can the applicant receive his/her check?
A: The applicant will receive the refund check two weeks after the application is approved.
Q: If the applicant needs to go back to the DECORP office to submit additional required documents, when will be the schedule?
A: The applicant will be informed at the time of filing when she can return to file additional documents.
Q: What documents are required to claim the refund?
A: The following documents are required:
Q: Who can claim the refund?
A: The persons entitled to file for the meter deposit refund are the following:
Q: The registered customer has died. Who can claim the refund?
A: The heir or heirs of the registered customer can claim the refund. In this case, the applicant for the refund should present a copy of the Death Certificate of the registered customer and proof of filiation that he or she is an heir of the deceased, such as a marriage certificate or birth certificate. If there are more than one heir, the applicant should execute an undertaking that the other heirs have waived their claim to the refund, and absolving DECORP from any counterclaims to the refund.
Q: The registered customer has sold or otherwise transferred the property that is serviced by the meter. Who can claim the refund?
A: The successor-in-interest of the registered customer can claim the refund, provided that he or she presents proof of transfer of rights and obligations over the property such as a Deed of Sale. If the meter deposit is not expressly described as part of the sale, the successor in interest must execute an undertaking that the registered owner has waived his or her claim to the meter deposit and absolving Decorp from any counterclaims to the refund.
Q: The registered owner is bedridden or abroad and cannot claim the refund. Can anyone claim the refund in his or her behalf?
A: An authorized representative can claim the refund, provided that a Special Power of Attorney is issued in the name of the representative.
Q: The original Official Receipt for the meter deposit has been lost. Will DECORP accept any other document?
A: The applicant will be required to execute an affidavit of loss. In this case, the original records of DECORP will be use to determine the amount of the meter deposit.
Q: The applicant cannot make it on the date stated in the notice of refund. Can he or she reschedule the processing of his or her application?
A: The applicant can reschedule his or her application by calling the Refund Hotline number.
Q: What happens if the meter deposit refund is not claimed?
A: After a period of two years, if the meter deposit refund is applied for but the cash or check was not claimed, or if no application was filed, the unclaimed amount will be deposited in an escrow amount in a bank. The meter deposit will continue to earn the applicable interest within these two years. The registered account holder, his or her heirs, or successors-in-interest can still claim the amount for meter deposit plus interest from the bank that is holding the account in escrow for a period of 10 years. After 10 years, all amounts held in escrow shall be subject to escheat proceedings by the State.
Q: The process of claiming the refund seems so complicated. What steps has DECORP taken to simplify the process?
A: DECORP has to follow the regulations set forth by the Energy Regulatory Commission. But because DECORP cares for its customers, it has undertaken the following to make the process easier and simpler for all applicants:
Q: When will the active customers covered in subsequent phases of the meter deposit refund be informed about their schedules to apply?
A: Active customers who paid their meter deposits between Jan. 1, 1981 to Dec. 31, 1990 shall be informed about their schedules and the amount of refund within the month of June 2007. Those who paid their meter deposits between Jan. 1, 1991 to Dec. 31, 2000 will be informed in December 2007. Those who paid between Jan. 1, 2001 to July 18, 2004 will be informed in June 2008.