DOE warns power rates may rise during summer months

Warren De Guzman, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 13 2023 03:29 PM

Line men from an electrical contractor check electric meters at the Divisoria area in Manila on September 12, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Line men from an electrical contractor check electric meters at the Divisoria area in Manila on September 12, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Consumers should manage their electricity consumption as power costs may go up in the summer months due to the surge in demand, Energy Secretary Rafael Lotilla said on Monday.

“Mangyari nyan, kung mataas ang demand, the [power] plants that we will have to run are oil-based power plants. If you use oil, as you know the prices are much higher [than] if we use the other fuels," Lotilla said during a forum organized by the Makati Business Club. 

Electricity bills are already expected to rise this month after the Malampaya gas project went on maintenance shutdown.

Consumers must learn to manage their power use, especially during peak hours, which are between 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., between 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. and between 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., Lotilla said.

The Department of Energy earlier also warned the Luzon grid could face 12 yellow alerts between March and November this year, due to insufficiency of power reserves. [WARNED]

"The other that has been discussed, by the President and Cabinet, is that we are discussing that aircons, the ambient temperature in offices and in hotels should be at 25 degrees centigrade so that it will help reduce consumption of power," he said.

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno earlier said the government is eyeing the implementation of a daylight-saving work schedule for government offices which is from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. to reduce power costs and mitigate traffic. A 4-day work week for government offices is also being deliberated, he said.


Lotilla said the Philippines need other available sources of energy to meet the rising demand.

"We need all the power sources, and that includes coal," he said.
He said the government is also ensuring there is a level playing field to encourage more private investments in the industry.

"What is more important there is that we are able to assure investors that there will be a level playing field and that policies that have been laid down by the government will be stable across time, and we will facilitate all the steps that are necessary to carry out their projects," he said.

There are 194 Infrastructure Flagship Projects or IFPs worth P9 trillion which were unveiled by the National Economic and Development Authority just last week. 

Out of the total, 4 are related to energy or power including the Agus-Pulangi Hydropower Plant Complex Rehabilitation of the National Power Corporation, the Ilaguen Multipurpose Irrigation & Hydropower Project and Muleta Reservoir Irrigation & Hydropower Project of the National Irrigation Administration, and the Renewable Energy program or the Agri-Fishery Sector of the Department of Agriculture. 


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