DOE websites to help monitor power uptake

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The Department of Energy (DOE) launched on Tuesday two useful websites where electricity consumers can seek answers on their monthly electric bills.

Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla demonstrated how the two websites can help consumers, mostly in households, in monitoring their electric costs.

“We always never take into account how much we consume . . . We have to arm consumers on information. We intend to put more [projects], something consumer-oriented,” he said.

Petilla added that the websites would educate consumers on “what products [or appliances]are the most cost efficient” and how do their electricity rates go up in a monthly basis.

The first website, called Kuryente, is where people can access the different power plants, electric companies and cooperatives in different parts of the country as well as the varied power cost per area. There is also an option “Kuryente 101,” which indicates the basics and the names of each charge on their monthly electric bill.

Consumers can also look into the website to see different electric rates for different areas nationwide.

The second website, Watt Matters, can give consumers information on how much electricity in watts and cost in peso do they spend for a particular appliance on a monthly basis.

Watt Matters also provides lists of efficient and inefficient appliances and brands to serve as a reference for consumers.

Petilla said that the websites will help educate the public on their energy concerns, which will also help them reduce their power consumption.

“We discourage the people [to buy inefficient appliances]by informing them. We want to tell the people through the website: ‘what is energy efficient’ . . . If the people are aware, bababa din ang konsumo natin [our electricity consumption will go down]without sacrificing anything,” Petilla said.

He also brought up the need to inform LGUs and companies to further implement efficient usage of energy in the country.

The websites can be accessed at www.kuryente.org.ph and www.wattmatters.org.ph.

When asked about the high power rates of the country shying away investors, Petilla said that, “we have the most expensive energy cost in Asia, but we’re actually zero subsidy [when it comes to energy]. . . In Indonesia, the power and fuel is heavily subsidized but they employ fewer people than us. But it doesn’t mean that we don’t have a chance in investments due to high power rates. Investments in the country are only toned down in the non energy-hungry industry or manufacturing.

Companies and organizations included in the initiative for energy efficiency include European Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, International Finance Corp., Philippines Electronics and Lighting Inc., Shell Companies in the Philippines, Schneider Electric Philippines Inc. and Meralco Energy Inc.

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