The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) and the Department of Energy (DOE) are urging more companies to enroll in the Interruptible Load Program (ILP) to help ensure the availability of sufficient electricity, especially during the hot dry season of 2023.
Energy Director of the Electric Power Industry Management Bureau Irma C. Exconde said the government expects challenges in 2023, given the delays in the completion of liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities.
“We are already preparing for the contingencies for next year because of the challenges faced by the power sector,” Exconde said.
Hence, the DOE and Meralco “encourage more companies across different industries to join the government’s ILP, which can help prevent power interruptions whenever the grid is placed on Red Alert.”
“Big companies, malls, hotels, buildings either have their own gensets that can run, or reduce their operations, so we can avoid brownouts. This is so that small businesses and residential users can still continue with their day-to-day activities without any power interruptions,” Meralco VP and Head for Enterprise and National Government Ma. Cecilia M. Domingo said.
The ILP is a voluntary and demand-side management program which calls on big-load customers to temporarily de-load from the grid and use their own generating units or reduce their operations instead when there is insufficient power supply.
“We aim to recruit more ILP participants and increase the available de-loading capacity under ILP,” Domingo added, noting that these will play as very important contingency measures for next year’s summer months.
Since 2014, ILP in the Meralco franchise area has been implemented 26 times. Since then, the program has successfully spared as many as 1.8 million households from power interruptions.
Meralco Lead Specialist for Generation and Transmission Economics Ma. Leticia Sapina said the support of ILP participants has proven to be “very instrumental” in ensuring continuity of electricity supply in Meralco’s franchise area.
As of December 21, the total capacity available for de-loading in Meralco’s area is 563.89 megawatts (MW) from 267 participating accounts.
Besides promoting the ILP, Meralco and DOE are also calling on the public to continue practicing energy efficiency and conservation measures.
“The DOE has come out publicly to say that we are not endorsing any energy-saving device. If you want to save on electricity, you practice energy efficiency, you do conservation. Nothing beats that,” Patrick Aquino, DOE Director of the Energy Utilization Management Bureau, said.