PCCI Backs Energy Conservation Plan
The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) has expressed support to the proposal of the Department of Energy to apply the time of use pricing (TOU), the newest energy conservation mechanism being studied by the government.
This scheme means the shift of power-intensive activities of industries and companies from peak hours to off-peak hours. It is during peak hours that the industry is running the most expensive plants.
Energy Secretary Rafael Lotilla has already articulated that we want to level off the consumption to avoid peak consumption.
Shifting of loads to off peak hours is seen as a near-term remedy that industrial and commercial end-users could resort to so they would have a way to cut down on their electricity bills.
"The TOU pricing that will soon be implemented in the electricity sector will help conserve energy, manage demand, and even avert power supply constraints during summer months," Lotilla has stressed.
The initial target of load cuts during hours of peak demand, the energy chief noted, would be the large users; who are being urged to shift their schedules of high consumption during off-peak hours.
"With mechanisms such as time-of-use pricing, we can encourage large customers who are engaged in power intensive activities to shift their schedules to off-peak hours," he said.
PCCI Chairman Sergio Ortiz-Luis said that all consultations should be made to make sure that the new energy saving mechanism gets the nod of all the sectors and industries. Ortiz-Luis said that big as well as small and medium companies are currently studying the merits of the new proposed scheme.
On the other hand, PCCI President Donald Dee expressed concern that employers might resist the new energy saving scheme due to overtime payment. Employees, on the other hand, might have difficulty adjusting to new schedules and on the availability of transportation.
The petition for time of use pricing was filed by the National Power Corporation before the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) last year along with its petition for power rate increase. Also last year, the ERC gave the NPC a provisional authority on TOU.
According to NPC, some of their clients have been applying TOU and they were able to save millions of pesos. ERC Chairman Rodolfo Albano said a mandatory approval might come by May or June this year.
The PCCI has earlier kept an open stand on the four-day-work week of the government which started last Monday. But as Mr. Dee said as long as these energy conservation programs are crafted well, we see no reason why the private sector cant adopt it. …