By: Daxim L. Lucas - 12:30 AM January 26, 2017
The Department of Energy (DOE) on Wednesday urged the public to adopt energy conservation measures to help ensure sufficient power supply, especially in the electricity- hungry Luzon island grid ahead of the two-week maintenance shutdown of the Malampaya gas field beginning this weekend.
In a press statement, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said the “demand side” of the power supply equation must also be managed, on top of efforts to ensure that temporary alternatives could be secured for three power plants generating 2,700 megawatts using natural gas from offshore Palawan.
“Demand-side management is one of the measures that we are encouraging our consumers to practice,” he said. “By doing this, our energy consumption is made more efficient and economical, with the beneficial effect ultimately reflected and felt through our electric bills.”
“When energy efficiency becomes second nature to us, we are able to cushion whatever impact may be caused by spikes in the cost of electricity,” Cusi added. “For example, despite the upcoming Malampaya maintenance activities this end of the month, we can still be able to lower our electricity bills with ease.”
He said these could easily be implemented by consumers.
The appliance-focused and consumer-managed energy-saving tips have been developed by the DOE, through its Energy Utilization Management Bureau (EUMB).
The DOE-EUMB regularly shares energy-saving tips to the public via the DOE’s social media accounts and its website. These tips primarily aim to help Filipino consumers manage their electricity consumption.
The Malampaya maintenance shutdown will run from Jan. 28 to Feb. 16. It will affect the generation of electricity of the natural gas power plants in Batangas, which serve both the islands of Luzon and Visayas.
To ensure sufficient power supply, the DOE has required the affected natural gas power plants to run on alternative or replacement fuel, which is more expensive than natural gas.
“Natural gas as fuel only costs around P4/kilowatt-hour, whereas, replacement fuel, such as diesel, costs around P6-P8/kWh,” Cusi explained.
“These energy-saving tips not only guarantee reduction in power consumption to spare the public from unwarranted price increases, but most importantly help us to maintain and balance the power supply in the grid, thus avoiding supply deficiency,” he said.