MERALCO, rural electric coops urge public to save on power this summer

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The Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) and the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association (PHILRECA) party-list are appealing to the public to be more responsible in using electricity, as dry months persist and temperatures continue to increase.

This comes in light of Republic Act 11285 or the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act, prompting the Department of Energy (DOE) to “create a national energy efficiency and conservation plan or the NEECP,” The law also compels the DOE to formulate a database aimed to provide information on energy consumption and application of energy-efficient and renewable energy technologies.

The DOE is currently finalizing the law’s implementing rules and regulations.

“Parallel to the national government and the DOE’s thrust towards energy efficiency, we deem it best that we further strengthen our information campaign for our member-consumer-owners, specifically in the residential segment, to be more responsible in their consumption. This will ultimately redound to average, if not lower, monthly bills, despite the rising temperatures,” PHILRECA President and Party-List Rep. Presley De Jesus said in a joint statement.

MERALCO’s historical data shows that households increase their consumption from 10-40% compared to cooler months, depending on the segment they are in. This is mostly driven by the shift in ambient temperature’s impact to appliance performance, as well as additional time these are used.

MERALCO FVP and Chief Commercial Officer Ferdinand Geluz pointed out that community quarantine restrictions also contributed to increased consumption.

“This pandemic brought a shift in consumption specifically in households. With online classes still ongoing, and many still on work-from-home arrangements, the knowledge to be able to use electricity more responsibly becomes more important,” Geluz said.

PHILRECA, together with its 121-member electric cooperatives, will beef up its information and education campaign to propagate tried and tested methods to help consumers use electricity wisely and empower them with information to help them avoid bill shocks.

MERALCO, for its part, is encouraging use of the appliance calculator found in the power giant’s mobile app, to compute how much each appliance consume. Data from these are from its PowerLab appliance testing facility, which can determine appliance consumption to the peso level.

Meanwhile, consumer group Laban Konsyumer has lauded MERALCO for extending its no-disconnection policy until the end of April.

“Our group believes that it is important and very crucial for consumer welfare that Meralco and other DUs’ business operations, including meter reading and bill delivery activities, will continue throughout the MECQ. This will ensure that actual consumption for the month will be billed accordingly,” Laban Consumer president and former Trade Usec. Vic Dimagiba said in a statement.

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