Lifeline Rate FAQs
The Lifeline Rate refers to the subsidized rate given to qualified low-income electricity utility customers who are financially unable to pay their electricity bills at full cost, as defined under Section 4 of Republic Act 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA).
The Lifeline Rate is a socialized pricing mechanism in the form of percentage discount levels that were set by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
For any inquiries in relation to the implementation of Republic Act. No. 11552 and its implementing Rules and Regulations, please call the ERC Lifeline Program Pasig City Hotline Number at (02) 8689-5372 loc. 5222 .
The Lifeline Rate was amended under Republic Act 11552 in order to enhance the definition of the kind of customers who can avail of the Lifeline Rate. The purpose is to ensure a fair and equitable implementation of the lifeline subsidy among qualified marginalized electricity end-users. The Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 11552 were promulgated through a Joint Resolution  signed by DOE, ERC and DSWD.
An Act Extending and Enhancing the Implementation of Lifeline Rate, Amending for the Purpose, Section 73 of Republic Act No. 9136 (EPIRA)
Joint Resolution No. 1 Series of 2022 on Implementing Rules and Regulations signed by ERC, DOE, and DSWD for Republic Act 11552, signed on October 28, 2022
The ERC set a maximum monthly electricity consumption or the Lifeline Consumption Threshold for qualified MERALCO customers. Currently, the Lifeline Consumption Threshold to receive the Lifeline Rate is 100 kWh per month. This may still change subject to ERC guidelines.
The Lifeline Discount Rate or percentage discount is applied to the sum of generation, transmission, system loss, distribution, supply, and metering charges, and other charges as may be approved by the ERC, for the month; and depends on kWh consumption brackets, as shown below:
|kWh Consumption Bracket||Percent (%) Discount|
Customers who meet any of the following criteria may apply for the lifeline rate:
- a. Beneficiaries of the “4Ps Act” (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) under Republic Act No. 11310, or
- b. Customers considered to be living below the poverty threshold set by the PSA
Only one (1) Meralco service per qualified household can be granted a lifeline rate. In case there are more than 1 beneficiary who applied for the lifeline rate from the same household (same service account), only one application will be granted with lifeline rate while the remaining application/s will be disapproved.
The Lifeline Rate will only be applied if the kWh consumption for the month is within the lifeline consumption threshold of 100kWh and below. This lifeline consumption threshold may still change subject to ERC guidelines.
4.a Will I automatically receive Lifeline Rate if I am qualified?
No. Under the most recent rules, qualified customers for the Lifeline Rate must first apply with Meralco and submit all the necessary requirements. Only customers with validated applications can receive the Lifeline Rate.
We highly encourage you to pay your bills via online channels:
Under the most recent rules, a customer must either be a 4Ps beneficiary or a customer living below the poverty threshold set by the PSA.
If customer is a 4Ps Beneficiary, the following must be met / submitted to any Meralco Business Center:
- i. Included in the DSWD’s Certified List of 4Ps Beneficiaries provided by ERC*
- ii. Duly accomplished Lifeline Rate Application form
- iii. Most recent Meralco bill*
- iv. 4Ps ID**
*The barangay indicated in the Meralco bill must be the same as the one in DSWD’s Certified List of 4Ps Beneficiaries
**If 4Ps ID is lost/unavailable, other government-issued ID may be provided
If customer is living below the poverty threshold set by the PSA (Non-4Ps Beneficiary), the following must be submitted to any Meralco Business Center:
- i. A Certification from the local Social Welfare and Development Office (SWDO) issued within the last six (6) months showing that his or her family income is below the poverty threshold set by the PSA and applicable at the time of his or her application*
- ii. Duly accomplished Lifeline Rate Application form
- iii. Most recent Meralco bill*
- iv. Any valid government-issued ID containing the address of the registered customer and his or her signature
*The address indicated in the Meralco bill must be the same as the one in SWDO Certificate. If addresses do not match, these will be subject to further verification by Meralco.
See below for accepted IDs:
- Police Clearance
- Postal ID
- Professional Regulatory Commission License (PRC) ID
- Senior Citizen ID
- Social Security System (ID)
- Tax Identification (TIN) ID
- Unified Multipurpose ID
- Phil ID
Yes, application thru a representative is allowed. The following requirements should be prepared and submitted along with the requirements mentioned earlier.
- i. Signed Letter of Authorization, whether typewritten or handwritten, including the reason for the representation
- ii. Valid government-issued ID of both the representative and the represented, with signature
For 4Ps Beneficiaries,
- The validity of Lifeline Rate is based on the annual certified list of 4Ps beneficiaries provided by DSWD. A qualified customer is eligible to receive the Lifeline Rate if he/she remains on the updated list.
- If delisted, the customer may opt to apply for a local SWDO certification if he/she is living below the poverty line and reapply for Lifeline Rate. The grant will be discontinued no later than two billing cycles from Meralco’s receipt of delisted 4Ps beneficiaries.
For Non-4Ps Beneficiaries,
- The validity of Lifeline Rate is three (3) years from the date issuance of Certification by local SWDO.
- Meralco may conduct a validation to ensure that the customer remains eligible for the Lifeline Rate.
If you have been approved for the lifeline rate but exceeded the current consumption limit of 100 kWh set by ERC, your bill for that month will not be provided a discount under the Lifeline Rate and you will be billed with the lifeline subsidy rate. But if your next billing is at 100 kWh or below, you will continue to enjoy the lifeline rate for that particular month.
The current 100 kWh threshold set for Meralco customers may change subject to ERC guidelines.
The amount of discount due to lifeline rate can be seen at the back of the bill under Subsidies category. You may refer to the highlighted section of the image below:
On previous Lifeline Rate Eligibility
Under the most recent rules, the following are NOT qualified to apply for Lifeline Rate:
- Customers residing in condominiums or subdivision projects (excluding projects and programs of the government, certified by the LGU or relevant authorities)
- Customers who availed net-meteringservices (except those deemed qualified under Section 15 of Net Metering Rules
- Customers whose consumption is below 100 kWh BUT are neither 4Ps beneficiaries nor living below the poverty line
- Customers in violation of Republic Act No, 7832 or Anti-electricity and Electric Transmission Lines/Materials Pilferage Act of 1994
Net metering refers to a two-way system wherein a customer is charged his energy consumption but also generates energy that can be imported back to the distribution utility company and is credited for overall contribution
States that customers who availed Net Metering services are still be qualified for the lifeline rate if: a) the actual consumption is under 100kWh before Net Metering, and b) electricity imported back to the distribution utility company falls under their lifeline program threshold
An act penalizing illegal use of electricity and theft of electric transmission lines/materials
No. If you are a qualified Meralco customer, you can only continue to receive the Lifeline Rate after applying and submitting the requirements to any Meralco Business Center. This will still undergo the validation process.
The Lifeline Discount Rate or percentage discount depends on the kWh consumption brackets.
Below is a sample estimated computation per kWh consumption bracket.
|kWh consumption bracket||With Discount in PHP||Without Discount in PHP||Difference in PHP|
*Amount is not zero due to fixed metering charge and applicable taxes
On Service Account Ownership and 4Ps:
Customers who wish to transfer residence will need to secure a Certificate of Un-tagging that will be issued by any Meralco Business Center. This Certificate of Un-tagging will be required by the local SWDO in issuing a new Certificate. This is also applicable to 4Ps beneficiaries.
Once the customer secured the re-issued Certificate from the local SWDO reflecting the new address, he/she should go to the DU serving the new address to enroll for the lifeline rate.
There will be an additional requirement on the application if the service is under a different name. The following should be submitted as proof of residence:
- Lease of contract
- Government issued ID or Barangay Certificate
A customer can be a 4Ps beneficiary if he/she is eligible and applies for the 4Ps.
Selection of qualified households for the 4Ps Program is done through the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) aka Listahan. Usually, the DSWD goes directly to qualified households, and asks to provide their personal information and submit documentary requirements to become 4Ps members.
To remain in the program, members must comply with conditions such as health checkups and school attendance for children depending on age and attendance at Family Development Sessions.
NHTS-PR or Listahan is used to identify who and where the poor are in the country. Targeting is based on the estimated income of families compared to the poverty threshold per province. This estimated income is based on family composition, education, and access to basic services.
4. I am the 4Ps beneficiary applying for lifeline rate but our electric bill is named under a different family member. Am I eligible for a lifeline rate?
Yes, as long as you comply with all the eligibility requirements and your application has been validated by Meralco.
On Lifeline Rate and other Applications in Meralco
Yes. A customer may apply for both Lifeline Rate and Senior Citizen discount simultaneously provided requirements for both were submitted.
2. I am already enjoying Senior Citizen discount but I am also a qualified marginalized end-user. Can I also avail of the lifeline rate?
Yes, you can apply for the lifeline rate.
3. Can I apply for an Installment Payment Agreement (IPA) even though I’m a recipient of the Lifeline Rate?
Yes. Customer may still apply for an Installment Payment Agreement even though you are a recipient of Lifeline Rate.
4. I am about to apply for a new electric service, and I don’t have any service contract with Meralco. Can I apply for lifeline rate along with it?
Yes, you may apply for the Lifeline Rate together with the Application for a new electric service.