Smart grid to empower consumers, provide grid reliability— MERALCO


The Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) has been serving 7.5 million people, one-fourth of the total population of the Philippines, and with the increasing demand, the distribution utility deems fit to introduce Smart Metering into their system. 

“Every year, this becomes increasingly more complex and challenging for the output and because of this, we have been leveraging new technologies. We are going to start with the end goal of improving our performance and delivering the quality service we want. And what is this platform? SmartGrid,” MERALCO first vice president and Head of Networks, Engr. Froilan J. Savet, said. 

Savet explained that MERALCO has been embarking on smart grids since 2011 and is aiming to target strategic areas such as grid efficiency, reliability and resiliency, advanced asset management, distributed energy resource integration, safety and work efficiency, and most of all, customer empowerment.

Savet also explained the advantages of smart grids, including providing more efficient energy distribution by optimizing power flow, reducing losses, and minimizing equipment, which could help the distribution utility operate the system more efficiently.

Another advantage that smart grids have is the ability to permit real-time monitoring of electricity usage, with provision and equipment health. By utilizing its enhanced capabilities, the system can now allow electricity and restore service without the need for human interaction. 

Because of this, problems could be addressed swiftly, which decreases downtime and increases dependability.

Furthermore, smart grids empower consumers to actively participate in energy management through demand response programs and access to real-time energy usage. 

“This incentivizes consumers to adjust their energy consumption based on grid conditions and electricity prices. The collective result is a stabilized grid, particularly during peak demand periods. Consequently, this reduces the need for additional power generation infrastructure. It lowers overall energy costs for both utilities and consumers,” said Savet.

In order to reap the benefits of this technology, MERALCO said that the key is the rollout of the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Program. 

To this, Savet said that MERALCO had been working closely with the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to develop the AMI implementation rules and policies.

MERALCO expressed its support for the sustainable energy transition. Introducing smart grids was to meet the escalating energy demand as well as enhance grid efficiency. With the energy industry being modified to create a more sustainable environment, taking advantage of new technologies was the key to unlocking the future.