IN THE first four months of the year, a local power distributor has recorded its highest average demand of electricity in its franchise area—593 megawatts.

This spike in consumption recorded by Visayan Electric Company on Thursday afternoon, April 20, 2023, can be attributed to the extreme heat index, said its reputation enhancement head, Quennie Bronce, in an interview with SunStar’s Beyond the Headlines program Tuesday, April 25.

“Kon ang taas ang demand, that means daghan naggamit og kuryente. So natural, motaas sad ang bill,” she said.

(If the demand is high, that means many people use electricity. So naturally, the bill will increase.)

Bronce said the daily average demand for electricity in Visayan Electric’s franchise area is between 545-550 megawatts.

The average demand for electricity refers to the typical or average amount of electrical power that is required to meet the energy needs of a specific region, location, or population over a given period of time. This can be measured in various units, such as kilowatt-hours, megawatts or gigawatts, depending on the scale of the electricity demand.

Visayan Electric has also increased its power rates to three centavos for April and May, which Bronce said is caused by a hike in transmission fees—the cost associated with the transportation of electricity from power generation plants to distribution centers and ultimately to end-users.

The power distributor serves more than 400,000 customers in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Naga and Talisay, and municipalities of Liloan, Consolacion, Minglanilla and San Fernando.

Heat index

Visayas-Pagasa chief Alfredo Quiblat Jr. said in a separate interview that the heat index in Cebu had been ranging from 38 to 40 degrees Celsius in the past days.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration official noted that this level of heat index is already under the classification of extreme caution. Heat index is the measure of relative humidity and air temperature in an area which the body feels.

“Too much exposure to the sun can cause heat cramps, heat exhaustion. Those extreme extraneous exercises outdoors can cause heatstroke,” Quiblat said.

He added that in the coming days, it is bound to get warmer until the end of May.

Enough supply

The hot and humid weather has led to people using more cooling appliances, all over increasing the electricity demand.

Despite this, Bronce assured Visayan Electric’s consumers that power supply in Visayas is still enough.

“For now our supply is still okay. As of April 24, the available generating capacity in the Visayas is 2,412 megawatts,” she said.

This allocation exceeds the system peak of 2,206 megawatts, leaving 206 megawatts of excess power. A system peak is the highest point of electricity demand on the grid during a given time period.

Bronce advised consumers to be more mindful of their power consumption, especially during these hot days.

“Unplug appliances that are not in use,” she said.