by Lenie Lectura, February 17, 2015
THE Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) will conduct a dry run of the Interruptible Load Program (ILP) this week, an official said on Tuesday.
“Upon instructions of the Department of Energy [DOE], we are planning to conduct a dry run of the ILP within this week. The test is intended to involve all customers with signed MOA [memorandum of agreement] totaling 323 accounts with an aggregate potential de-loading capacity of 617 megawatts [MW],” Meralco Head of Utility Economics Larry Fernandez said in a text message.
The five largest ILP participants are SM Prime Holdings Inc. (57.96 MW), Robinsons Land Corp. (23.15 MW), Waltermart Malls (14.30 MW), Belle Corp. (10 MW) and Rustans Supercenters Inc. (8.66 MW).
The House of Representatives is the only captive customer of Meralco from the government sector that has, so far, signed up in the program.
“We have not announced the details of the dry run so that we may better assess the participants’ level of preparedness,” Fernandez added.
The government is banking on the success of ILP to address the power shortage anticipated to happen in the summer months this year.
With the ILP, power supply from the grid that will not be consumed by participating customers will be available for use by other customers within the franchise area. Through this, the aggregate demand for power from the system will be reduced to a more manageable level, helping ensure the availability of supply during the anticipated power crisis next year.
The program will only be part of the answer to the looming power shortages next summer. The ILP, likewise, does not guarantee zero brownouts, as it will only be implemented during the red-alert level of the power supply.
A red alert means there is a supply deficiency. Separately, the DOE continues to encourage more ILP participants and the adoption of energy-efficient practices.
With the ongoing progress of the ILP, the DOE is set to ramp up the importance of energy efficiency and conservation to address the short- and long-term power requirements of the country.
The agency is also pursuing a new campaign in support of its energy efficiency and conservation across the country.
Last week marked the introduction of “Energy Sense, Saves Cents” campaign to increase awareness of the public in energy-efficient practices.
The DOE already launched a series of TV, radio and print commercials highlighting the campaign. The public can expect more tips in the upcoming commercials in the coming month.
In one of the commercials, Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla promotes that putting the thermostat of cooling systems to 25 degrees Celsius would not only save on costs but also eases demand for electricity.
The DOE will continue to spread awareness on the importance of energy efficiency through common examples that citizens can apply quickly in their homes and even share it to others. Additional tips and more information are available at the wattmatters.org.ph website – the DOE website for energy efficiency and conservation.