MANILA, Philippines In the next months, Filipinos should expect greater temperatures, which would result in increased demand for electricity and higher electricity bills.
Although the Department of Energy (DOE) stated that its action plan to prevent a severely tight power supply in early summer was successful, consumers’ cooperation in energy conservation will help to avoid the red alert status and power disruptions during the summer.
The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Program, which may save almost 360 megawatts of power from the grid when users use electricity effectively, is a part of DOE’s action plan.
Here are some DOE recommendations for conserving electricity and saving money on high electricity bills:
1. Keep air conditioners in good working order.
You can save PHP100 per month by cleaning the filters and condensers of a one-horsepower traditional air conditioner on a monthly basis.
2. When not in use, turn off the lights.
3. Make use of LED lighting.
Convert your lighting system from compact fluorescent to light-emitting diode (LED) lighting to save up to 50% on energy costs.
4. Unplug any electric equipment that aren’t in use.
Even when electric appliances are turned off, they consume energy. On standby mode, a cathode-ray tube television and its digital box, for example, consume 16 watts, equating to PHP57.60 in wasted electricity per month.
5. Clean your refrigerator and don’t leave it open for longer than required.
If you open the fridge door 42 times a day, you’re wasting 7% of your food.
Emerolf Felix, 27, also takes advantage of the beautiful weather by drying his clothing by hanging them in the sun rather than running a cycle in the dryer.
“Use one air conditioner unit instead of multiple electric fans to save electricity throughout the summer. Stay in one spot as much as possible to prevent using multiple appliances,” Farrah Marie Tenegra, 24, said.
She also saves electricity by using the sunlight to light the space rather than turning on the light bulbs during the day.
Gloria Maghuyop, 52, and her husband now have an LED lighting system installed in their home. When they go to bed in the evening, their family also turns off all the lights.
Rachel Santos, 27, on the other hand, keeps her energy usage the same whether it’s summer or not.
“During the summer, I don’t really conserve energy merely because it’s hot outside. At home, I don’t have many appliances. During the day, I rarely use lights. When I’m alone, I don’t use anything, not even an electric fan or air conditioner,” she explained.
Patrick Aquino, director of the DOE’s Energy Utilization Management Bureau, said the department is vigorously pushing Republic Act 11825, or the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act.
The Department of Energy sponsored an energy efficiency and conservation forum in Cebu on Thursday. Over 100 people from the public and business sectors attended the event.
Last week, Aquino told reporters that the DOE had undertaken an energy audit at 18 government agencies to check that they were following the energy management program. (PNA)
In your Philippines home, what consumes the most electricity?
Your refrigerator is one of your home’s most energy-intensive equipment. As a result, everyone in the family should be more careful of their energy consumption when using it.
When purchasing a refrigerator, the basic rule of thumb is to get the appropriate size for your needs. However, if your ref is too large, either because it was purchased for a low price or because it is a pamana, you must ensure that it is filled with precisely the right quantity of stuff in order to limit the amount of energy required to keep things cool. Too much storage, on the other hand, will prevent the cooled air from circulating properly, causing the ref to spend more energy to generate cold air.
Do you want to save even more money on your electric bill? Simply move your refrigerator an inch or two away from the wall to avoid overworking the engine and to give it more breathing area. Similarly, keep your refrigerator away from the stove and direct sunlight. This can cut its power consumption by up to 40%.
Defrost your freezer once a week or if there is more than 1/4 inch of ice in it to increase its efficiency.
What if I told you that Frost-free refrigerators use more energy than refrigerators that require little to no defrosting effort. The first consumes approximately 200 watts, while the second consumes approximately 100 watts.
Why is the Philippines’ electricity cost so high?
At $0.20 per kWh, electricity bills in the country are among the highest in Southeast Asia.
According to a report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), the Philippines’ wholesale electricity rates might be lowered by 30% if renewables enter a market plagued by a lack of competition and high financing costs.
According to the research, the feed-in-tariff (FiT) and priority dispatch have resulted in a $0.028 (PHP1.47) per kWh drop in wholesale energy spot prices for customers, resulting in savings or avoided expenses of $850 million (PHP44.3 billion) from November 2014 to October 2015.
The Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC) conducted a study in 2017 on the impact of the FiT program on energy costs, concluding that if there were no FiT-qualified renewable energy plants in the system, the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM) price would have been $0.096 (PHP5.02) per kWH. The WESM pricing for such plants is $0.068. (PHP3.55).
The FiT scheme is estimated to cost $490 million, according to Sara Jane Ahmed, an energy finance specialist at IEEFA (PHP25.6b). “This translates to $360 million (PHP18.7 billion) in savings or avoided costs,” she explained.
Due to a large reliance on imported fossil fuels and uncompetitive market arrangements, electricity rates in the Philippines are among the highest in Southeast Asia and are regarded quite high compared to global norms, at around $0.20 per kWh.
“Based on a 2016 Power Supply Agreement (PSA) price, a 167.4MW coal plant was estimated to deliver $0.08 (PHP3.96) per kWh. The coal plant, on the other hand, delivered $0.038 (PHP2) per kWh on average, sometimes topping $0.14 (PHP7.11) per kWh, according to Ahmed. “This price variation is now permissible by market regulations under the ‘pass through clause,’ which permits changes in gasoline prices and foreign exchange rates to be passed on to consumers and businesses.”
As a result of the uncertainty of coal prices, consumers paid roughly $15 million (PHP788.7 million) more than expected between May 2018 and May 2019.
On the back of judicial challenges that have verified the government’s goal to stimulate competition through transparent bidding, Ahmed also observed that more retail competition may be on the way for the country shortly. This comes after consumer groups filed a complaint with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) in 2017 criticizing the openness and competitiveness of the PSA signing procedure from July 2015 forward.
The Philippines’ Supreme Court decided in favor of consumer organizations in May 2019, voiding all PSAs issued after November 2015, including the 3.5GW Meralco coal pipeline backed by major corporations. Meralco is the country’s largest distribution franchise in Metro Manila, as well as an investor in independent power producers (IPPs).
A “set bid price” is included in the ERC’s Competitive Selection Process (CSP), which covers fuel costs and other variable charges. This means that future PSA prices are set, and project sponsors and investors will bear the risk of fluctuating fuel costs and foreign exchange rates.
“Changes in economics could not only cause losses to investors, but they could also taint the main Luzon grid with stranded assets, preventing market innovation and burdening the economy for decades,” Ahmed warned. The repercussions for project sponsors and investors who are unable to manage or hedge variable costs, such as fuel price variations, unplanned start-up and shutdown expenses, and changes in foreign exchange, according to IEEFA’s analysis, can be devastating.
She went on to say that one significant reform would be to assess the risk profile of take-or-pay imported fuel agreements, which are long-term commitments that must be weighed against the Philippines’ ability to benefit from newer technologies that are just entering the market.
According to the Department of Energy, 4.8 GW of coal plants are expected to start commercial operations by the end of 2019. This might result in stranded asset risk of up to $9.5 billion, with a greater risk of 10,423MW – or $20.9 billion – beyond 2019. “As of now, it appears that the cost of these dubious commercial decisions would be absorbed by households, industry, or investors, including Philippine banks,” Ahmed explained.
This might put an additional burden on Philippine homes and industrial consumers, who currently pay over $250 million per year in subsidies for diesel plants through the Universal Charge for Missionary Electrification (UCME). In 2019, households and businesses are scheduled to pay a $293.2 million subsidy for import-diesel plants.
“If the UK continues to import fossil fuels instead of exploring more inexpensive renewable energy and storage options, this liability is projected to grow,” Ahmed warned.
Is it true that unplugging things saves energy?
Many people are surprised by how much standby power can accumulate. According to the US Department of Energy, standby power accounts for 5-10% of household energy use. The average household may save up to $100 each year by unplugging devices.
However, how much you save may be determined by how many devices you have and how you utilize them. For example, a Colorado State University educational experiment discovered that a combination radio/CD player/tape player utilized 4 watts continuously, whether it was in use or not. Unplugging it when not in use would save 100 times the amount of power during the device’s lifespan.
According to a research by the Natural Resources Defense Council, decreasing the load from always-on gadgets would save consumers $8 billion per year and prevent the use of 64 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity. It also offers environmental benefits, such as the reduction of 44 million metric tons of CO2. Always-on devices are predicted to cost up to $165 per home per year, according to the NRDC.
What factors contribute to high electric bills?
Your energy cost is more than you anticipated for a variety of reasons. These could include a bill that is based on estimated rather than real energy usage, insufficient insulation, a cold spell, having recently moved into a new home, and many others.
What is the average number of kWh consumed per day in the Philippines?
Average per capita power consumption in the Philippines from 2011 to 2020. In 2020, the Philippines’ average power consumption was around 897 kilowatt hours, a small reduction from the previous year’s average consumption.
What is the average cost of electricity in the Philippines?
Meralco Philippines’ average electricity rate per kilowatt hour for 2019-2020. Meralco’s average retail electricity pricing in the Philippines in 2020 was 7.96 Philippine pesos per kilowatt hour.
How much does a kWh cost at Meralco?
THE PHILIPPINES MANILA, Philippines In April 2022, Manila Electric Company (Meralco) tariffs surpassed P10 per kilowatt-hour (kWh).
Meralco increased its rates by P0.5363 to P10.1830 per kWh for the second month in a row. Meralco’s rates last broke through the P10 barrier in June of this year.
The adjustment equates to price hikes for households that consume the following items:
Due to increasing prices from independent power producers (IPPs) and the spot market, Meralco stated the generation charge increased by P0.3987 to P5.8724 per kWh.
The generation fee would have been greater if the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) order instructing suppliers to delay sections of their generation costs, totaling P945 million, had not been in place, according to the power distributor.
In addition, Meralco was instructed by the ERC to defer P300 million in generation expenses, lowering the rise by nearly 11 centavos per kWh. Over the next three months, the delayed fees will be billed in three installments.
Due to the scheduled repair of the Quezon Power Plant till March 24, and higher fuel prices of First Gas-Sta. Rita due to limited supply from Malampaya, IPP tariffs increased by P1.4885 per kWh in April. The devaluation of the peso, according to Meralco, also led to higher IPP expenses.
The WESM (Wholesale Electricity Spot Market) tariffs remained high in March due to a lack of supply in the Luzon system.
Meanwhile, due to the postponement of generation expenses, charges from power supply agreements (PSAs) were lowered by P0.1068 per kWh.
WESM supplied 17.4 percent to Meralco’s April bill, while IPPs and PSAs delivered 31 percent and 51.6 percent of Meralco’s energy requirements, respectively.
Meralco anticipates increased generation rates in the coming months due to the dry season’s rising temperatures.
Meralco, why is my electric bill so high?
Due to the warmer weather, there is an increase in consumption. Even without increased usage, Meralco Power Lab anticipates a 25% to 40% rise in electricity consumption during the summer compared to the milder months. As the amount of time spent on something increases, so does the amount of time spent on it.