• Meralco’s Power Lab to partner with appliance makers

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    Leading power distributor Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) is mulling expanding its Power Lab by partnering with appliance manufacturers to encourage energy conservation.

    Meralco’s Power Lab, which is located at the utility’s head office in Ortigas, Pasig City, serves as a test bed for various consumer appliances and teaches consumers how much energy a particular appliance consumes.

    Meralco spokesperson Jose Zaldarriaga said that the company is planning to expand the project early next year.

    “By early next year, the intent is to expand the establishment of the Power Lab with more appliance manufacturer partners and an expanded capability,” said Zaldarriaga.

    In one of its studies, Meralco’s Power Lab found that computers on standby mode can cost around P25 a month.

    Meralco is also set to launch early next year power consumption tags to help consumers identify the energy consumption of an appliance.

    Department of Energy (DOE) director Patrick Aquino said appliances will carry a Meralco orange tag that will supplement the yellow labels of DOE.

    “It will show consumers how much energy a particular appliance consumes,” he said.

    The DOE has also launched a website (www.wattmatters.org.) which estimates the share of each appliance to a consumer’s electricity bill.

    The DOE has been calling for a stronger energy conservation campaign as the Luzon grid is facing a looming power shortfall next summer. Through its Energy Utilization Management Bureau (EUMB), the DOE is already implementing energy conservation measures to reduce the power demand.

    In a Department Circular issued last August, the DOE enjoined both government and private offices to practice energy efficiency by putting their cooling systems to 25 degrees Celsius and using efficient lighting.

    The EUMB is tasked under the circular to intensify the campaign and organize consultations with stakeholders for the effective promotion of energy efficiency and conservation.

    Also, the department is speeding up the completion of committed projects through a series of site visits and updates from power companies.

    Through the DOE’s initiative, existing power plants have already rescheduled their maintenance shutdowns to a later date to support the energy requirements of Luzon next summer.

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