MANILA Electric Co. (Meralco), the country’s largest power distribution utility has adopted measures to ensure that its facilities are resilient in the event of disasters or calamities.
Meralco President Oscar Reyes told reporters they started the resiliency program three years ago, adding that they are continuously investing in “hardening” their infrastructure as part of their mission to have reliable and adequate electricity service 24/7 even in the face of severe weather disturbances or calamities.
“We’ve now set a new standard for our facilities… for poles, wires and the entire structure to be resilient and be able to cope with, for example, increased wind speeds,” the Meralco official added, noting the magnitude of the weather disturbances that have struck the country over the past five years.
“And we are investing in that because absent that, then we are putting customers at risk,” Reyes stressed.
Commenting on the Department of Energy’s (DoE) proposed resiliency policy, which is aimed at improving the disaster preparedness and resiliency of the energy sector, Reyes said the adoption of such measures will entail additional investments on the part of industry players.
“The required resiliency and hardening will entail new capital expenditures, entail operating expenses. But that’s now part of the norm,” Reyes said.
In its comments for the draft policy on energy resiliency, Meralco earlier said that distribution utilities (DUs) should be allowed to recoup the expenses consequent to these measures, subject to the approval of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
Shares of Meralco dropped P9.60 or 3.05 percent to end at P305.40 on Friday.