The House of Representatives became the first government institution to implement a proactive response to help avert a possible power crisis this year through an initiative encouraging large electricity consumers to de-load from the Luzon grid by using their backup generators during critical periods.
The initiative, called the Interruptible Load Program (ILP), aims to mitigate a possible energy shortfall in Luzon during the summer months. The program was first implemented in the Visayas and Mindanao last year.
"Lead by example," Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. said as he urged other government agencies to enlist in the program, following the ceremonial signing of the ILP agreement between the House of Representatives and the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) at the Batasan complex last January 28, 2015.
Also in attendance during the signing were Deputy Speakers Roberto Puno and Giorgidi Aggabao; Rep. Reynaldo Umali, the chairperson of the House Energy Committee, Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla of the Department of Energy; and Meralco president and CEO Oscar Reyes.
"The House of Representatives will participate in the ILP by registering its 1.7 MW small generating facility (SGF) located in the Main Building, as recommended by the Engineering Department. The de-loading is from 10 AM to 1 PM to cover the Main building, including the South and North Wings buildings," the Speaker said.
The ILP stems from House Joint Resolution No. 21, which aims to grant the President special powers to address a looming energy crisis in Luzon this year.
The joint resolution is designed to keep energy reserve levels at 782 megawatts to cover for heavier energy usage during the summer months. Of the figure, 135 megawatts worth of dispatchable reserve power is needed while 647 megawatts will be reserved for contingencies.
HJR 21 identifies several remedial measures to mitigate a possible energy shortage, which will be implemented for a limited period between March and July 31, 2015. Among these measures is the ILP, which is a voluntary program covering large power consumers that have their own small generating facilities.
The Speaker noted that while the ILP was mainly directed at the private sector, the program does not preclude government institutions from participating.
"I strongly urge other government agencies to join us by subscribing to the ILP. As we work together with the private sector, your support and sacrifice in this initiative will go a long way in helping sustain the country's growth momentum," he added.
The Speaker also called on the Senate to swiftly approve HJR 21 to spare Luzon from experiencing crippling power outages this summer.