Energy conservation must start at home
by Rachelle Nessia
Dumaguete City (5 December) -- Officials from the local electric cooperative are urging residents to wisely conserve their electricity use in the face of an economic crunch in the country.
According to Engr. Dominador Tragico who heads the transmission and distribution department of the Negros Oriental Electric Cooperative (NORECO 2) here, energy conservation is important not only to cut down costs but also to save on energy sources such as LPG and gasoline.
"While Mother Nature is providing the raw materials, the supply is not really abundant and will not last long," says Tragico during the Kapihan forum held by the Philippine Information Agency recently.
He stressed that energy conservation must start at the home. "The most effective and efficient energy-saving device is you, or us the consumers," he said.
Some of the energy conservation tips spelled out by NORECO 2 in their Enercon Tips handouts are to turn off unnecessary lights, reduce the volume of the TV set as a loud volume consumes higher electricity and iron clothes when it is cooler and more comfortable as this lessens the demand for electricity during peak hours.
Consumers are also advised to choose gas range or ovens with an automatic ignition system, which can save about 40% to 50% on gas for the top burners.
Fluorescent lights should be used instead of incandescent bulbs because a 40-watt fluorescent lamp produces more light than a 100-watt incandescent bulb at half the cost.
Also, driving sensibly saves gas as aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas. Drivers are urged to avoid excessive idling as idling gets 0 km per liter. If possible, do not keep vehicle idle for more than 3 minutes since 2 liters of gasoline per hour is consumed at this condition.
Following the wave of oil price increases in the world market, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has issued Administrative Order No. 126 ordering the implementation of the government's energy conservation program in all government agencies.
Under AO 126, government agencies and offices are mandated to adopt and implement a program that will reduce their fuel consumption for transport by 10% of their average monthly consumption for the 1st semester of 2005.
One of the agencies that have noted a significant reduction in its energy consumption as a result of the government's energy conservation program is the National Power Corporation. According to Engr. Gonzalo Abellana of NAPOCOR, their plant has improved its savings by 19.75% on electricity, 21.82% on fuel both diesel and gasoline and 3.5% on water consumption. "On the average per month, our plant in Valencia saves between 8 to 15% on electricity and 10% to 15% on fuel and 3% to 8% on water," he said during the forum.
NAPOCOR has long been implementing its energy conservation program with the aim of delivering more power to the grid.
Engr. Noel Tan of NAPOCOR in the same forum disclosed that NAPOCOR is supplying the Negros to Panay grid with a total of 192.5 megawatts of power.
This will soon be uprated with the addition of a new interconnection project wherein the existing power cable will be uprated with another 200 megawatts from the geothermal field in Leyte. "So that's another 200 megawatts of power added to the Cebu-Negros-Panay grid," says Tan.
He assured that this will result to a more stable power situation in Negros Oriental. (PIA) [top]