Industrial use of power in Cebu increasing: Veco-A A +A
By Mia A. Aznar
Sunday, October 20, 2013
OUT of some 200 contestables in the Visayas–companies with a monthly average peak demand of one megawatt–50 are being served by the Visayan Electric Co., said Ricardo Lacson Jr., vice president for customer services and administration.
Lacson, at a power briefing with reporters, said Cebu’s share of industrial use is increasing. While industrial usage was at 46 percent in 2004, it is now up 56 percent this year.
Shopping malls make 21 percent of industrial use while cement plants consist of 19 percent.
Veco is one of 18 local retail electricity suppliers registered with the Energy Regulatory Commission. There are also 18 retail electricity suppliers and 27 suppliers of last resort as of July, the ERC in its website said. It also said there are currently 780 contestables in Luzon and 112 in the Visayas. Mindanao has not yet been included in the retail competition because some conditions have not yet been met.
After the country’s retail competition and open access policy started in June, contestables were now qualified to choose their own suppliers of electricity.
Lacson said companies with high load factors such as cement plants will benefit because they choose where to buy their power and when, allowing them the flexibility to order electricity at the best price available at a time they need it.
Some of the contestables in Cebu include Cemex, San Miguel, Ayala Center Cebu, SM Malls and most hotels.
Veco’s franchise area covers Metro Cebu from Liloan to San Fernando, excluding Mactan island.
Though the ability to choose energy sources is still being made available to companies with a monthly average peak demand of one megawatt, Lacson said the plan in 10 years is to be able to give the same power to residential consumers. In about four years, those with monthly peak demands of 750 megawatts will be able to make the same decisions.
Lacson said their customers are finding new ways of consuming power, with Cebu’s consumption growing as quick as the lifestyle changes of their customers.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 21, 2013.