January 27, 2023

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Local firms have been encouraged to join ILP to avoid outages

The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) and Department of Energy (DOE) are urging more companies to enroll in the Interruptible Load Program (ILP) to ensure the availability of adequate power, especially during the hot dry season of 2023.

Irma C. Exconde, director of energy for the Electric Power Industry Management Bureau, said the government expects challenges in 2023 given delays in the completion of liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants.

“Due to the challenges facing the energy sector, we are already preparing for the contingencies for next year,” Exconde said.

Therefore, “DOE and Meralco are encouraging more companies across industries to join the government’s ILP, which can help prevent power disruptions when the grid goes on red alert.”

“Large businesses, shopping malls, hotels and buildings either have their own generator sets that can run or reduce their operations so we can avoid blackouts. This allows small businesses and home users to continue their daily activities without power interruptions,” Meralco VP and Head for Enterprise and National Government Ma. said Cecilia M Domingo.

The ILP is a voluntary and demand-oriented control program that asks large-load customers to temporarily disconnect from the grid in the event of insufficient power supply and instead use their own generating units or reduce their operation.

“We want to recruit more ILP participants and increase the available unloading capacity under ILP,” Domingo added, noting that this will act as very important contingency measures for the summer months of next year.

Since 2014, ILP has been implemented 26 times in the Meralco franchise area. Since then, the program has successfully saved up to 1.8 million households from power outages.

Meralco Lead Specialist for Generation and Transmission Economics Ma. Leticia Sapina said the support of the ILP participants has proved “very helpful” in ensuring the continuity of electricity supply in the Meralco franchise area.

As of December 21, the total capacity available for offloading in the Meralco area is 563.89 megawatts (MW) from 267 participating accounts.

In addition to promoting the ILP, Meralco and DOE also call on the public to continue practicing energy efficiency and energy saving measures.

“The DOE has publicly stated that we do not support low-power devices. If you want to save electricity, you practice energy efficiency, you practice energy saving. Nothing beats that,” said Patrick Aquino, DOE director of the Energy Utilization Management Bureau.