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    ERC urges energy conservation as dry season power rate hikes loom

    March 17, 2023 - Philippine Daily Inquirer


      The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on Thursday told the public to exercise energy efficiency and conservation, especially during the dry season when electricity rate hikes are more likely

      'What I can say is, traditionally, over the years, we have seen that every time we enter or during the summer months, because demand spikes and supply thins, it leads to higher electricity prices,' said ERC chair Monalisa Dimalanta during a press forum.

      'So it always helps to be prepared, we were talking about energy efficiency and energy conservation. So to the extent that we can reduce that demand, so that it doesn't trigger higher prices then we need to take those measures to reduce the pressure on the market to increase the consumption,' she added.

      Dimalanta urged the public to be wary of their power consumption as energy efficiency means 'a change in behavior.'

      'We need to make sure that we only spend or consume energy that we really need,' she said.

      She also expressed that energy conservation is always a 'good idea' as no energy should be wasted, more so during the Summer.

      When asked if rotating brownouts are possible, Dimalanta said that based on the Department of Energy (DOE) data, some weeks during the dry season are expected to be hit by a thin power supply.

      'They have identified some weeks where a yellow alert is possible,' said Dimalanta.

      A yellow alert means power reserves are insufficient to cover the largest running generating unit at the time.

      It can be recalled that the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) for March increased its electricity rate by P0.5453 per kilowatt hour (kWh), which effectively raised the monthly bill of a typical household to P11.4348 per kWh from P10.8895 per kWh.

      This, Meralco said, was triggered by the rise in generation charge - or the cost of purchased power from suppliers and which accounts for 55 percent of the total bill - which went up by P0.4636 to P7.3790 from P6.9154 per kWh the previous month due to higher supply costs.


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