Probe power outages, Win tells ERC, DOE

Senator Win Gatchalian yesterday called on the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and the Department of Energy (DOE) to investigate the reported unplanned outages of some power plants in Luzon that recently triggered a spike in consumers’ electricity bills.

Gatchalian likewise urged the DOE to address any logistical concerns faced by some power producers to prevent similar occurrences in the coming weeks, as this may jeopardize the COVID-19 vaccine rollout that is expected to go on full blast between May to June.

“There should be no brownouts because our vaccines will arrive by the end of this month, May, or June, and the vaccines are overly sensitive. Some vaccines need almost sub-zero freezing temperature,” said Gatchalian, Senate Energy Committee Chairperson.

Data from the Independent Energy Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP) showed that for the March 2021 billing period, there were 1,580 megawatts (MW) of non-coincidental unplanned outages or 61.3% of the total outages.

For the April 2021 billing period until April 18, there were 1,428 MW non-coincidental unplanned outages or 62.8% of the total outages, the operator added.

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