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Who’s who in energy production and consumption

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A group of individuals is talking about electricity and what they think is the pressing issue in our country today – the energy crisis. But you would only hear one familiar name: Meralco.

And the likes of DoE, ERC, NGCP and electric cooperatives can’t get a ticket to join in the conversation.

These bodies, just like Meralco, are involved in the country’s energy production. And each of them has a critical role in ensuring that consumers are getting the best service.

Department of Energy
The largest entity with biggest shoes to fill, it’s just appropriate we call the Department of Energy (DoE) the “master of the game,” in a sense that it is at the forefront when talks about energy come about.

The DoE was created out of Republic Act 7638 signed by then President Fidel V. Ramos.

From A-Z, as long as it involves energy, DoE takes part in it.

As the name implies, the agency is responsible for the preparation, integration, organization, coordination, supervision and control of plans, projects and activities of the government that involve energy exploration, development, utilization, distribution and conservation.

The Energy department is headed by a Secretary of Energy, three undersecretaries and three assistant secretaries. Currently, Alfonso Cusi is the appointed Secretary of the office in charge for electricity.

One of DoE’s notable projects is the Philippine Energy Plan 2009-2030 that aims to answer the rapid growth of the country’s demand for energy driven by the increasing population.

The sheer number of power meters shows the public’s dependence on electricity.

Focused on both consumers and business owners, the Philippine Energy Plan follows three principles: ensure energy security, pursue effective implementation of energy sector reforms and implement social mobilization and cross-sector monitoring mechanisms.

Energy Regulatory Commission
It is the least talked about.

Once you flip the pages of a newspaper or scroll down your browser’s page, you may not often see these three letters: E-R-C.

But not until recently.

With the news of the energy crisis, you may want to ask what the ERC is.

In energy generation and distribution, the Energy Regulatory Commission comes in between the energy transmitter and, as such, it has the rate-making powers over the electricity carrier business that transmits electric power.

In a nutshell, every project relative to electricity and power should be reviewed and approved by the ERC through the issuance of a certificate of compliance to parties interested in ensuring that the standards stated in the EPIRA, the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001, are followed.

Likewise, the ERC is also held responsible for determining any abuse in power or the “anti-competitive behavior.”

National Grid Corporation
of the Philippines
Whether in Luzon, Visayas or Mindanao, we have heard a lot about these “grids.” An electrical grid is a network that allows for the delivery of electricity starting from producers to consumers.

Its principal functions are to generate stations that will then produce electrical power and high-voltage transmission lines that bring power from distant sources to “demand centers.”

The NGCP, as a privately-owned corporation, is involved in maintaining, operating, and developing the country’s power grids.

It also is the institution to whom the public seeks daily updates on the power situation outlook by identifying the available capacity, system peak, and reserves for energy consumption.

MERALCO
It knocks to our door every month to compute our monthly energy consumption. But the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) is more than just a piece of paper stating your bills.

Serving as Mega Manila’s lone power distribution company, Meralco dispenses electric energy to 36 cities and 75 municipalities.

As a distribution company, it is responsible for executing the final stage of delivering electric power to the end users – consumers and business owners. It carries electricity starting from the transmission system to the final users.

Overall, the Pangilinan-led company is now serving 6.5 million consumers in a franchise area that covers 9,685-square kilometers, where the country’s top industrial, commercial, and population centers are found.

Electric cooperatives
Not every household is reached and can receive services from the abovementioned bodies.

Knowing that electricity has now become an essential need, some organizations have taken initiatives to fill in for the deficiencies.

In most provinces, electricity is served by cooperatives, some of which are owned by the distribution sector. In the Philippines, electric cooperatives are regulated and overseen by the National Electrification Administration.

Furthermore, rates set by a cooperative are regulated and approved by the ERC.

Meralco, NGCP, DoE, ERC and electric cooperatives – each has its role. And each is critical in ensuring that consumers will not run out of power.

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