PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. has ordered government offices to conserve and use energy more efficiently in anticipation of increased power demand brought about by El Niño.
The Palace released an administrative order (AO) signed on Jan. 16, which cited the need to accelerate the rollout of a long-term program aimed at reducing government consumption of electricity and petroleum products.
Under the order, government agencies and state-controlled firms are subject to random spot checks by inspectors and must hire auditors to conduct energy audits.
The organizations subject to the AOs are also required to update their inventory of energy-consuming equipment such as cars and lighting, among others, and submit a timeline for replacing them with more energy-efficient products.
They must also adopt low-cost energy efficiency and conservation measures such as maintaining a temperature of 24 degrees Celsius in air-conditioned spaces, turning off unused lights and air-conditioning units, and activating sleep settings on office equipment.
Government agencies are also required to draft procedures to monitor their energy consumption.
El Niño is expected to lead to a significant increase in power demand, with the Energy department projecting peak demand to hit 13,917 megawatts (MW) in the Luzon grid, 2,891 MW in Visayas and 2,584 MW in Mindanao.
“There is a need to intensify efficient utilization and conservation efforts of electricity and fuel to mitigate power demand amidst the ongoing El Niño phenomenon,” the President said in the AO. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza