Practice energy efficiency ahead of summer
Meralco, DOE urge more companies to enroll in ILP; call on consumers to practice energy efficiency ahead of the summer months
The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) and the Department of Energy (DOE) are banking on the support of big power consumers to help ensure the availability of sufficient electricity, especially in the summer months of 2023.
In a recent webinar organized by Meralco for its enterprise customers, officials laid down preparations to address the expected challenges that come with the anticipated increase in demand due to rising temperatures.
Irma C. Exconde, DOE Director of the Electric Power Industry Management Bureau, cited particular challenges the agency considered in the 2023 power outlook which include the two-week maintenance shutdown of the Malampaya gas field from February 4 to 18, and delays in the completion of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities.
“We are already preparing for the contingencies for next year because of the challenges faced by the power sector,” Director Exconde said during the webinar.
Meralco and DOE also started their proactive campaign to encourage more companies across different industries to join the government’s Interruptible Load Program (ILP), which can help prevent power interruptions whenever the grid is placed on Red Alert.
“Big companies, malls, hotels, buildings either have their own gensets that can run, or reduce their operations, so we can avoid brownouts. This is so that small businesses and residential users can still continue with their day-to-day activities without any power interruptions,” Meralco Vice President and Head for Enterprise and National Government Engr. Ma. Cecilia M. Domingo said during the webinar.
“We aim to recruit more ILP participants and increase the available de-loading capacity under ILP,” she added, noting that these will play as very important contingency measures for next year’s summer months.
The ILP is a voluntary and demand-side management program which calls on big-load customers to temporarily de-load from the grid and use their own generating units or reduce their operations instead when there is insufficient power supply.
“Since 2014, ILP in the Meralco franchise area has been implemented 26 times and since then, the program has successfully spared as many as 1.8 million households from power interruptions,” Meralco Lead Specialist for Generation and Transmission Economics Ma. Leticia Sapina said
Besides being compensated for their participation in the ILP, Sapina highlighted that participants also get to help other consumers.
The support of ILP participants has proven to be very instrumental in ensuring continuity of electricity supply in Meralco’s franchise area. As of December 21, 2022, the total capacity available for de-loading in Meralco’s area is 563.89 megawatts (MW) from 267 participating accounts.
ILP participants like SM Prime Holdings, Inc. and Waltermart Shopping Center Management, Inc. also attested to the benefits of enrolling in the program.
“ILP is a program that is really going to support the economy because we are able to minimize the impact of the lack of capacity,” SM Prime Holdings Energy Consultant Engr. Jaime Patinio said.
For Waltermart Shopping Center Management, Inc. Chairman Abraham Uy, the program does not just help the public, but also the ILP participants, especially those that operate in energy-intensive industries.
“We’re actually very happy that every time there’s a power outage, there’s an advanced warning,” he said, adding that this prevents the sudden shutdown of their facilities that use electricity.
Through the help of customers that include properties owned by the SM Group, Waltermart, Ayala Land, Belle Corporation, and Citystate Centre Condo Corporation, Meralco customers were spared from brownouts.
Robinsons Land Corporation also recently supported the ILP and enrolled 10 Robinsons Malls with a total committed capacity of 31 MW.
Besides promoting the ILP, Meralco and DOE are also calling on the public to be part of the solution and continue practicing energy efficiency and conservation measures.
“The DOE has come out publicly to say that we are not endorsing any energy-saving device. If you want to save on electricity, you practice energy efficiency, you do conservation. Nothing beats that,” Patrick Aquino, DOE Director of the Energy Utilization Management Bureau, said during the same webinar.
Besides regularly providing energy efficiency tips, Meralco also empowers its customers with tools like the Appliance Calculator on the Meralco Mobile App through which they can know how much their gadgets and appliances consume to help them stay in control and manage their monthly consumption better.