I just paid my electric bill for February 2012 and I thought we all might all learn one or two things from it … aside from the obvious one “How Much Does it Cost For Electricity Living in the Philippines”?
One thing that might strike some of you is that even though this bill looks very different from the bill you get at home, like many things here in the Philippines, it’s really pretty mundane.
There’s a meter on the front of my house. Once a month a meter reader comes by and writes down the numbers. In a while after the meter reader’s visit, a bill comes to my front gate (by messenger, normally) and on or before the due date, I have to pay it. As in the US, there are a number of ways to pay … in my case I do it the same way I did in the US … I log onto my bank’s Internet Bill Pay service, type in the amount, enter the date I want it paid and press “Accept”. The bill is paid. Easy-peasy.
I could also pay by writing a check to the electric company, by authorizing them to automatically debiting my account, or by going to their local office and paying the cashier by check or cash. In addition,we have something here many of you aren’t familiar with “Bayad” (literally “Pay”) centers all over town and at a special counter in the local SM Department Store, where you can pay your Philippine electric bill (and most other bills) in cash, over the counter.
I bring this up, mainly because I get questions and comments all the times when folks considering a move to the Philippines seem to think moving here is akin to moving to another planet or something even to the extent that they wouldn’t be able to function without a Filipino “translator” or helper or some-such, just to pay bills and do the same things you do every month back there at your foreign home.
Well, as I think you can see (click on the image of the bill for a larger view), you can take care of things like this all by yourself (unless, for some reason you can’t figure out how to pay a bill back in Omaha or Orlando or Ottumwa).
Some things worth noting:
First question some of you will have is the name on the bill. Who is that? Well, welcome to the Philippines. Miguel (Migs) Rosario is the gentleman who originally owned my house, who used to rent it to me and who sold it to my wife and I. Why is the electric bill still in his name?
Mainly because changing it is just too complicated, and with Mr. Rosario in the USA, it’s even more compicated-er. So, we simplify life.
The electric company could care less. They get paid, they keep the current flowing. If payment stops the power stops and it doesn’t get turned on again until they have cash in hand. It matters not who ran up the bill, the person who wants it turned on will pay.
Second: This is something to keep in mind especially with rental property. Before you order, say, a telephone line turned on, find out if there is any balance owed, because YOU will be responsible for it. Much better to leave the utilities in the landlord’s name and just pay the bill.
Third: You get a lot of detail and pay a lot of tax in the Philippines. At the peso rate of 24 Feb 2011, the total of this bill comes to $96.97. The tax is $9.32 … nearly 10%, plus there are a ton of hidden taxes being passed on in other areas of the total.
Fourth: The cost (total) per kilowatt-hour comes up to about $0.27 per kilowatt hour.
Fifth: For long-term budgeting I find a very useful figure net to the little monthly comparison bar chart on the right center. Over 12 months about 400 KWh per month which costs me $3.59 USD per day. This has been relatively consistent. Back in 2006 when I first started paying Philippine electric bills it was about $3.30 a day.
Anyway, hope that helps you budget a bit for the future and gives you a little more insight into what it takes to live in the Philippines.
Later, folks, time to get up and turn on the air conditioner ;-)