by Riza Olchondra, February 4, 2015
from Philippine Daily Inquirer
MORE POWER users have signed up for the deloading program that is meant to ease the impact of tight electricity supply this summer, and the Department of Energy (DOE) is calling for more.
Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla said via text message that there were two additions to the roster of participants under the Interruptible Load Program participants (ILP).
“We are aiming for as much [capacity] as possible,” Petilla said as he called for new volunteers.
The DOE yesterday reported that the House of Representatives formally joined the ILP roster on Jan. 27, pledging 1.7 megawatts (MW) of deloading capacity. Petilla said MPower—the retail electricity supplier (RES) of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco)—also signed up for the program, along with its 92 contestable customers on Jan. 30.
As of Jan. 26, registered ILP accounts under Meralco stood at 56. They account for a deloading capacity of 227.82 MW. Also, 173 members of the Retail Electricity Suppliers Association (Resa) committed 460.85 MW in deloading capacity to the program, the DOE said.
The DOE earlier said it would aim for 1,000 MW in ILP capacity to be signed up by Luzon distribution utilities, including Meralco, before summer.
Meralco has been approaching customers and working with the government to identify more volunteers for the ILP. The power distributor is also coordinating with retail electricity suppliers to invite their contestable customers to the program.
Under the ILP, big power consumers with generator sets may use their equipment to ease demand from the grid at peak hours in return for fuel cost reimbursement and some compensation.
The ILP is one of the mechanisms the DOE is counting on to ease the power supply gap from March to June 2015. In those months, the effects of El Niño, power plant maintenance, and the temporary suspension of production at the Malampaya gas field due to the installation of another platform may result in power outages at peak times, or from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The DOE and other stakeholders like Meralco have been holding meetings to update how much electricity demand is expected and how much may be filled by short-term measures such as the ILP.
Noting that managing energy demand is just as important as generating supply, Petilla called on consumers to use electricity more efficiently.
With the ongoing progress of the ILP, the DOE is set to initiate an information campaign on the importance of energy efficiency and conservation to address the short- and long-term power requirements of the country.
For the complete list of present ILP participants, visit kuryente.org.ph/ilp/monitoring and wattmatters.org.ph for energy efficiency and conservation tips.