Feature: Gov't energy savings a 'virtual power plant'
Iloilo City (19 May) -- The government has put up a "virtual power plant" through energy savings that its agencies have generated through the adoption of conservation measures under the Government Energy Management Program (GEMP).
Speaking during the Seminar on Power Conservation and Efficiency held May 19 and attended by 95 regional heads, administrative officers and representatives of government agencies and institutions at Iloilo Grand Hotel here, Energy Audit Team Co-Chair Waldo Q. Flores disclosed that savings have reached close to P2 billion in terms of electricity consumption and about P300 million in fuel expenses since the program that was initiated by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was implemented in 2005.
Flores called the plant "virtual" because it did not require building a facility but came in the form of a reduction in power and fuel consumption in government.
Flores said the result of the conservation program, which is spearheaded by the Department of Energy (DOE), is contributing to the thrust of the government to lessen the country's dependence on imported oil alongside the other efforts of the DOE to look for alternative energy sources.
"I've gone over the other programs of government and this one (energy conservation) is surely a winner," enthused Flores whose office gets its marching orders from the Office of the President.
He confided that because of the positive outcome of the program he would recommend for its adoption by the incoming administration.
He said he has also gotten the nod of President Arroyo to give back to concerned agencies the savings they have generated in electricity and fuel expenses in the form of non-wage fringe benefits.
The official said he they have been very happy about the outcome of the program in Western Visayas and hoped to see much better results from its implementation here.
Flores also exhorted government employees to continue supporting the program not only within their offices but also in their private capacity and share it with their relatives, friends and other associates.
"It's easy, it's not difficult especially with the increasing electricity cost per kilowatt-hour," stressed Flores.
For her part, DOE Energy Utilization Manager Evelyn Reyes said during the seminar that the government savings on energy could be further enhanced through the vigilance and commitment of government agencies.
Reyes said the savings are remarkable.
The said program was institutionalized by President Arroyo by virtue of Administrative Order No. 110 to reduce monthly consumption of agencies of electricity and fuel products by at least ten percent in line with the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Program of the government.
The seminar was organized by the Energy Utilization Management Bureau of in cooperation with the Philippine Information Agency.
PIA Regional Director lawyer Ma. Janet C. Mesa underscored the importance of the seminar in her message in view of the fact that electricity is now one of the top basic needs of man and that it plays an important role in spurring economic growth.
After conducting the seminar, the DOE conducted a two-day spot check or energy audit of government offices here to ascertain their energy efficiency and conservation practices in line with GEMP implementing guidelines. (PIA 6) [top]