by Myrna Velasco, 13 March 2015
from Manila Bulletin
The malls may no longer be a point of refuge for Filipinos wanting to take respite from scorching summer heat, because even these establishments were already asked to set their air-conditioning systems to higher temperature levels.
The Department of Energy (DOE) has already issued a Circular, or in the form of “memorandum-advisory to malls and business establishments for their air-con to be set at 25 degrees from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.”
This serves as an expansion of the directive set by the department earlier to government offices – purposively to save on energy during the highly-anticipated critical supply months of summer.
“This Circular, which encompasses both the public and private sectors, invites all including the business establishments and households to join the department in implementing energy efficiency methods,” the DOE has noted.
Such mandate was set forth by DOE even if the Joint Resolution of Congress on President Aquino’s authority to solve the power crisis is still on a deadlock mode.
In addition, the energy department has asked the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) to optimize the dispatch of hydropower plants so these can help shore up capacity on summer duration.
It was noted that one crucial component of this stop-gap measure will be on the operation of the Caliraya-Botocan-Kalayaan (CBK) hydro plant, of which generation is expected to be ramped up even during the critical summer months.
Under the Congressional joint resolution, it was propounded that the generating units of the CBK plant be declared as “must-load units” from 8 p.m.-8 a.m. on Mondays through Saturdays and the whole day of Sunday, if requested by the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation.
The same plant units may also be called upon as “must-run” or as generator “during peak period hours to achieve the desired water elevation of the Caliraya Lake and optimize the existing output of the said units.”
On the bigger facet of energy conservation, the DOE has been appealing to the public to not just pare their actual electricity consumption, but to also strive for energy efficiency by opting to wear lighter pieces of clothing.
Summer months this year had always been anticipated to be teetering on precarious electricity supply condition. With the alarms bells raised, consumers can now just wait with bated breath if tangible “darkness” will really descend or not.