Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Meet M.A.C. - Your Friendly Meralco Appliance Calculator

Having friends in Meralco is a boon. For years now, these friends have given our family advice on many things, including the type of appliances to buy so we use electricity efficiently. My friend Alex would even hand out Meralco brochures that give friendly consumer advice on how to save on energy costs. And I remember instances in friends' houses when Alex would spend time explaining to us the impact of how we use our appliances on our bills.

Being web-addicted connected, I long discovered M.A.C. (Meralco Appliance Calculator) on the Meralco website. In fact, the MAC (I've removed the periods just to make it easier as I type this post)  has been on their website since 2003. Unfortunately, not many consumers knew about the existence of MAC. And honestly, while I did tinker around with MAC a bit, trying to put in some info on our appliances and usage patterns, I never really got to use it as a real tool for electricity savings.

Till now.

Meralco is relaunching M.A.C. with new and improved features so that it can really become your electricity budget buddy. Let's meet M.A.C. -

Fig. 1 Portal to MAC

The image you see in Fig. 1 is the first thing you see when you click the MAC link on the Meralco homepage. Before you can use MAC, you need to click on "Agreement" and clicking "I Agree" after reading the terms. The new feature on this portal is the "Formula" link. According to Meralco, they got a lot of feedback from the older MAC version as to how the energy costs were computed so they decided to add this link to the formulas.

When you choose My Appliance Calculator, you get this screen:

Fig. 2 Home screen of MAC
Tabs run across the top (General Appliances, Aircon, Ref, etc.) Clicking on those tabs bring dropdown menus to further narrow down your type of appliance. The average wattage of this appliance is filled out automatically. Put in the number of hours, days and weeks the appliance is used and MAC will calculate for you how much that appliance contributes to your bill per day/week/month. Of course, these are all rough estimates. Wattage can change depending on the brand and model of the appliance. But this gives you an initial feel already which are the energy guzzlers in your home.

Another innovation to MAC is My Bill Manager which allows you to estimate your monthly electric bill by filling up a table. You can even see which appliances consume more electricity. Just enter all the appliances and types of lights you have at home, your usage (hours, days, weeks used). You have the option to change the wattage although an estimate is automatically provided.

Fig. 3 My Bill Manager

Click on Fig. 3 to get a bigger image. I put in an example - one aircon, 1.0 horsepower, running 9 hours daily for a month. Imagine, that appliance alone costs you over P2,300 per month! Yikes!

Fill out as much as you can and you will see monthly estimates of your electric bill adding up. 

At the bottom of the spreadsheet are 3 other features. Consumption Manager gives you the top 6 appliances that contribute to your electric bill, in pesos and percentage and presents these in pie chart form.

Fig. 4 Consumption Manager

Energy Efficiency Adviser gives you handy tips to save energy consumption.

Fig. 5 Energy Efficiency Adviser

Target Bill Amount Estimator lets you set your desired target bill amount, then it tells you just how many kilowatt hours you should consume to stay within that target amount.

Fig. 6 Target Bill Amount Estimator

And when you're done, you can even share your results via email, Facebook or Twitter or select the Print button (see Fig. 4). And the Feedback button allows you to email Meralco with suggestions as well.

Fig. 7

To begin using M.A.C., visit Meralco's website at http://meralco.com.ph.

1 comment:

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