THE House energy panel has warned companies that they might be penalized if they fail to join the Interruptible Load Program (ILP) in time for the anticipated power shortage next year.
Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, who heads the energy committee, said companies were given until December 1 to register to firm up their commitments and
sign up with Manila Electric Co.’s (Meralco) ILP.
Meralco earlier said talks are ongoing with other possible ILP participants.
The ILP is only one of the measures being considered by the government to mitigate the anticipated power shortage next summer.
Under the ILP, large power users are compensated for running their generator sets (gensets) and deloading from the power grid at peak hours, thus freeing up capacity for the use of other users.
Sen. Serge Osmeña 3rd even suggested sourcing out P1 billion from the Malampaya fund to subsidize ILP participants.
“Reports indicated that there will be 14 weeks of yellow and two weeks of red, so it will cover about a period of five months, and the computation is about P200 million per 300 megawatts for five months, then you would need a billion [pesos]to subsidize,” Umali explained Osmeña’s suggestion.
But in the case of companies who do not join the ILP, Umali said they might face punishment.
The punishment is that companies will still be called upon by the government to use their gensets during peak hours but they will not be compensated anymore, he added.
“Companies were given a deadline (December 1) to register. If they failed to register, they might still be called to run their plant and they will not get paid,” he said.
The lawmaker also expressed confidence that the ILP will address the power shortage.
At present, Umali said at least 600 companies have already committed to participate in the ILP.
Mylene Capongcol of the Department of Energy (DOE) earlier said that the reliability of ILPs is only around 45 percent to 70 percent.
To date, she said the DOE has tallied only 155 MW megawatts from companies who have signed up with Meralco’s ILP.
Based on previous experience, Capongcol said only half of the ILP capacity will be able to deliver power, which means that around 1,400 MW of capacity from the ILP will be needed to address the 700 MW of shortage.