Nov 2, 2010

RI Chem President Meneleo J. Carlos, Jr. has proposed a “win-win-win” energy solution that would save at least 70% on lighting costs and benefit industry, residents, the power utilities and the environment as a whole.

Mr. Carlos, Chairman Emeritus of the Federation of Philippine Industries, made this prescription as a spokesperson for the manufacturing sector at “The New Energy Future: A Stakeholders’ Forum” organized by the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines(ECCP) and The Shell Companies in the Philippines last October 14 at the Makati Shangri-la Hotel.

His solution entailed the need for local government units and residences to undertake a “dramatic shift” from incandescent to compact fluorescent lamps (CFL), which has already enabled industry to cut down 70% of its lighting costs. This shift could “save our electrical grid at one at least 600 MW power plant of power demand” as this would “eliminate the need to run the expensive diesel gensets and provide us relief from brownouts,” he said.

Mr. Carlos pointed out that the financial cost for such a shift “can be recovered in less than a year, while the life of the lamp exceeds two years.”

He suggested that major utilities be tapped to finance and distribute these CFLs on the condition that they be given an order by the Energy Regulatory Commission that they enforce these collections as a form of power supply service, thereby providing them “the right to disconnect if the lamps are not paid for.”

Such enforcement, the RI Chem President noted, would correct the past situation in which a utility company volunteered to distribute CFLs but lost money because its customers, since they were not threatened with power disconnection, simply refused to pay for the CFLs and there was nothing the company could do.

The “win-win-win” situation would benefit utilities by reducing their peak loads and increasing their load factor, making their cost of power cheaper, Mr. Carlos said. It would also provide industry “more continuous power to run our plants” and less dependence of genset power, and ensure that the environment is “less stressed by man.”

He said lighting costs “constitute the bulk of the power requirements in the countryside,” and thus, the resulting 70% reduction in such costs would be “a good economic boost throughout the country.”

Mr. Carlos also suggested that the country increase its hydropower capacities by “simply planting more trees.” This, he noted, will restore the country’s watersheds, as well as provide jobs to tree farmers, alleviate poverty for over one million families, earn carbon tax credits for the tree farmers since trees reduce greenhouse gases, and promote the competitiveness of the wood industry.

He asserted that for the past three decades, the manufacturing sector “has adjusted to our high energy and power costs” by improving its production efficiencies to remain competitive. He added that “even processes have been changed to become ‘greener’ and consume less energy.”

Mr. Carlos urged Filipinos to “muster all our resources and our people towards a more sustainable development scheme which we should convert into a win-win-win for all”