DOE plans mandatory power saving measures in 2015

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THE government is seriously considering imposing mandatory energy saving measures amid a looming energy crisis next summer, the Department of Energy (DOE) said.

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Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla on Tuesday said the mandatory energy saving measures may be implemented only during the peaks hours of the summer months when there is scarcity of power supply.

Basically, the mandatory measures will require businesses and households to reduce their usage of energy to mitigate the power shortage.

“The mandatory [measure]is during summer, only during summer. In fact, only during peak hours, which is about 10 [a.m.] to 3 [p.m.], that is our estimate,” Petilla told reporters on the sidelines of the Energy Smart Philippines 2014 forum held at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

He said the measure will be implemented if Congress fails to pass this year a resolution that will grant additional authority for President Benigno Aquino 3rd to address the looming power crisis.

“At the very most, it will be mandatory, depending on discussions with Congress and Senate on how it’s going to be,” he added.

The hot summer months usually start from March up to June.

“Well, number one is energy savings. It’s not an option because it’s actually there, it’s part of it, we will just intensify it. In fact, if we say that the energy savings is a long-time option, perhaps that is one thing that we can make mandatory at this point,” he said.

He cited as an example turning air-conditioning units at a thermostat level of 25 degrees Celsius, which will definitely save power. Petilla advised consumers and ordinary households to test it as early as now.

“My appeal to the public is look at 25 degrees. Now, you will not appreciate it because outside is probably 28. However, in summer, the temperature outside is 37, once you go into a room which is 25, it’s comforting,” he added.

He also said that the agency will come up with a mechanism to monitor the compliance of households and businesses once the measure is implemented.

“Probably the last thing  that you will really inspect is the low user. But the high user, you can easily do the inspection,” he said.

Besides mandatory energy saving measures, the DOE chief also said that the agency is looking at all possible solutions to the problem such as contracting for additional power.

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