Industry Stakeholders Push Demand-Side Management, Energy-Efficiency Schemes

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By doing so, they noted that end-users would be able to save on their monthly electricity bills, while the need for additional capacity may be pushed back further.

Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) chairman Meneleo Carlos sounded off that instead of elbowing power distribution utilities to subsidize the proposed increase in lifeline rate users, the government must strive to educate consumers on conservation measures.

For instance, he noted that end-users must be properly apprised on cost-incentives they will get if they would shift use to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) from incandescent bulns.

Carlos cited the experience of other jurisdictions wherein shifts to CFLs for lighting have resulted in 80 percent savings for some areas.

President Arroyo previously announced the government's plan to effect the phaseout of incandescent bulbs in most households by 2010.

Until now, however, the Department of Energy (DoE) does not have any concrete plan on how these initiatives will be carried out.

In other countries, measures such as ban on the importation of incandescent bulbs and extension of subsidies to households opting to shift to CFLs were imposed.

Meanwhile, end-consumers such as those belonging to the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries of the Philippines, Inc. (SEIPI) and locators at the Philippine economic zones are more keen on knowing how the government would be able to reduce power rates.

There have been proposals to lift the 12 percent value-added tax (VAT) being slapped against electricity sales, but this has already been thumbed down by the Department of Finance and the Bureau of Internal Revenue for fear of revenue losses for the national coffers.

More than getting fixated on lowering electricity rates, the Private Electric Power Operators Association Inc. (PEPOA) reminded the government that it must also put its head and attention in attracting new power investments. …