It is expected that during the holiday season our electricity bill always almost doubles the amount that we usually pay for during normal days. It’s understandable since there are also increase in electricity consumption. We put up Christmas lights and Christmas lanterns to make our houses festive. Relatives from the province visits and stays until January and guest rooms which are normally empty gets to be used. And you host several parties and get togethers. That means lights, electric fans, and other home appliances are used frequently.
Starting November 2013, though, the reason behind your electric bill increase is different. I’m sure that by now you’ve heard about the power rate hike that was due to the scheduled maintenance shutdown of several power plants which Meralco taps for energy.
Please watch this short video for you to gain a better understanding of why there’s a need for a rate increase in electricity: http://bit.ly/MeralcoDECAdvisory
I’m sure you probably found an over-all increase in your electricity bill for November. Just to expand on what was explained on the video, Meralco per se didn’t increase their rates. The other suppliers that make up our total electricity bill have had to increase their fees due to the scheduled maintenance shutdown of the Camago-Malampaya natural gas pipeline, which supplies fuel to several power plants, including Sta. Rita and Ilijan. Sta. Rita and Ilijan power plants supply 50% of Meralco’s power. With the temporary shutdown of the Camago-Malampaya pipeline, these plants have had to reduce their electricity generation capacity, and operate at a limited level using more expensive fuel.
Meralco is also sourcing from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) at higher rates. This is to make sure that we have stable supply of electricity.
This would only mean that we would have a higher electricity cost for this month. However, Meralco has proposed to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to allow staggered collection of the increase which the ERC agreed to. That means it will be broken down into three months (December, January, and February), sort of like paying on an installment basis to make our load lighter instead of paying it outright.
The increase that will be reflected in our bill this December will be reduced to ₱2.41 per kWh from the original ₱4.15 per kWh. The deferred portion of₱ 1.21 per kWh and ₱0.53 per kWh of the increase will be collected over the months of February and March 2014 respectively when generation costs are expected to have normalized
According to Meralco, once maintenance is completed, electricity rates will stabilize too.
For the meantime, MERALCO gives us some energy efficient tips on how we can save energy at home.
Energy Efficiency Tips from MERALCO
I was able to participate in a round table discussion with Ms. Maita David (face of Meralco Advisory, from Customer Retail Services), Mr. Alfred Iporac (Meralco’s Energy Expert), Ms. Jenny Santiago (Head of Marketing Comm), Ms. Deza Lim (Head of Marketing) and Mr. Tony Valdez (Head of Marketing and Customer Solutions). They gave out several tips on how you can save energy efficiently.
1. Switch Appliances Off the Wall
TVs, DVD/VCD Players, computers, stereos, game consoles still use energy in stand by mode. When not in use, unplug them. Keeping them on will incur additionalan additional monthly bill of around P16. This may seem like a small amount but it will add up, depending on how many of these appliances you keep plugged in and for how long. Likewise, electronic appliances produce heat. Extra heat requires more energy from your air conditioners thereby increase cooling costs.
2. Use a Powerboard
A power board can supply power to multiple appliances at the same time and allows you also to switch them off using the same switch.
3. Switch off lights when not in use
4. Utilize natural light whenever possible
No need to switch on lights whenever you go inside one of the rooms in your house.
5. Use Energy Efficient Lighting
LED lights are more expensive than fluorescent lamps but it is brighter and can save you up to 62% of electricity.
6. Limit your use of Air Conditioning
Use a timer. Set air conditioner’s timer to turn off your unit to reduce operating time.
Did you know that for every one degree increase in thermostat setting, savings may reach up to 5% of total aircon operating cost? Yikes! I love sleeping when the a/c is at 18º and covered with a warm blanket. I guess we should set the thermostat just at a comfortable temperature level in order to save.
We should also make sure that we use energy efficient aircons to maximize our savings.
7. Use front-load washing machine. It’s more efficient than top-load machines.
Practice sorting clothes. Different types of clothes require different wash cycles.
During sunny days and other times when it is convenient enough, you may consider using the clothesline to lessen the operation of your dryer.
8.When buying new freezers/refrigerators, be sure to purchase energy efficient models. Look for units with the highest Energy Efficient Factor (EEF). They are more efficient and cost less.
9. During Christmas season, Decorate your Christmas tree with eco –friendly lights.
Use LED lights for your tree, one of the best ways to save energy during the Christmas season. LED lights use 33% less electricity. Set a timer or an alarm clock so you can switch off Christmas lights and prevent them from staying on all day or all night.
To better manage your electricity and to learn more energy efficiency tips, you can download the Meralco Virtual Engine (MOVE) app on your phone or tablet. It lets you view your latest electricity bill, learn energy efficiency tips in a cool way with the Bright Ideas, find the nearest Bayad Centers, have access on the Meralco office directory, and compute your consumption costs on the Appliance calculator.
To better manage your electricity and to learn more energy efficiency tips, you can download the Meralco Virtual Engine (MOVE) app on your phone or tablet. It lets you view your latest electricity bill, learn energy efficiency tips in a cool way with the Bright Ideas, find the nearest Bayad Centers, have access on the Meralco office directory, and compute your consumption costs on the Appliance Calculator.
You can also access Meralco Bright Ideas page at http://www.meralco.com.ph/.
Do you have more energy saving tips or ideas? Please do not hesitate to share it with me on the comments section of these post. So other can also read it and they will be able to practice it in their own homes.
Other ways you can be updated from Meralco:
Meralco Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/meralco
Meralco Twitter Page: http://www.twitter.com/meralco
Meralco Youtube Page: http://www.youtube.com/meralcoph