ArchivesAugust 2010Editorial - Power crisis looming

Editorial – Power crisis looming


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Even as electric cooperatives nationwide are insisting on buying power at the rate they are currently paying the National Power Corporation, chances are that electric consumers are in for tougher times.

This early, the administration of President Benigno Aquino Jr. is conditioning the public to brace for higher electric rates.

Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, in a briefing Tuesday, said Filipinos have to face up to this reality. We have to pay for all the inefficiencies committed in the past,” said Energy Secretary Jose Rene D. Almendras in a briefing with reporters in Manila.

Almendras made the statement one day after President Benigno Aquino III disclosed during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) that the government-owned National Power Corporation had been forced to sell power at a loss all these years.

Consumers will end up paying the $16 billion debt of Napocor.

Earlier, the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) filed a petition before the Energy Regulatory Commission, to pass on to consumers over P570 billion worth of debts and contract costs of Napocor.

The worst part is that even at a high price, there is no guarantee that there will be enough power for our needs. The much ballyhooed privatization of Napocor, which was hoped to bring in foreign investors in the power sector, only got one foreign investor and one local conglomerate. This means we won’t be seeing a lot of new money coming in to invest in the power sector in the near future.

With no hope for power costs to go down, electric consumers should start exploring ways to cut down on power costs. This could start with new house designs that would maximize the use of natural air conditioning, instead of the Mediterranean or American look that would need tons of air conditioning.

If we’re already living in one of those houses, there has to be some ways that will allow us to save electricity. We can use electric fans instead of air conditioners, LPG instead of electric stoves, and charcoal instead of electric irons.

The list could go on and on. But things have to start soon. Today.

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