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Ample power assured for APEC meetings

By: Vanessa Claire Lucero June 17,2015 - 06:32 AM

Representatives of the Department of Energy (DOE) and Visayan Electric Co., Inc. (Veco) yesterday assured that Cebu will have adequate power supply during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings from August to October this year.

Engineer Saul Gonzales, chief of Energy Industry Management Division of DOE Visayas field office, said the supply situation is projected to come “close to a critical point” towards the end of the year.

But “there is nothing to be worried about,” he added during a forum yesterday at the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) regional office.

Gonzales said demand in Cebu last night reached 748 megawatts (MW). Embedded capacity in the province is only 643.5 MW, but Cebu gets additional supply from the Leyte geothermal fields.

“Don’t worry but magdaginot lang ta’g maayo (Don’t worry but we have to save as much as we can),” he said.

Conserving electricity will not only help consumers save on expenses, but will also lessen the pressure on power plants.

Veco, for its part, said it is ready for any untoward incident that may occur during the APEC meetings. A series of Senior Officials Meetings will be held in Cebu in August. Ministerial meetings on finance, energy and transportation have been scheduled in Cebu on September and October.

Ma. Theresa Sederiosa, Veco reputation manager, said they have been coordinating with the hotels that will host the meetings starting August. She said they have also checked wires and connections.

Veco has a peak power demand of 460 MW to serve around 390,000 customers in Metro Cebu. Demand goes up by an average of  5 percent yearly.

Veco has launched Cebu Unplugged, to encourage consumers to turn off or unplug any electrical gadget that is not in use. This has been launched in schools and will be adopted by the Cebu City Council in July.

Meanwhile, the utility has put up 48 prepaid electricity meters in the City of Naga to test its viability. An additional 100 meters will be installed in Naga, Sederiosa said.

If approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), the prepaid electricity scheme will be made available to Veco consumers in Cebu City next year.

“This is not for everybody but for smaller households this may be very effective, especially for those who want to save,” said ERC-7 regional director Joel Bontuyan.

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