University of the Philippines Los Baños
Monday, 04 September 2017 18:07

UPLB saves PhP1.0 M on its first month of WESM membership

Over one million pesos in one month.

This is what UPLB has saved in electricity cost on its first month of direct membership in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).

WESMsavings2017

Data from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Planning and Development (OVCPD) shows that the June 2017 electric bill is PhP 1.6 million lower than that of June 2016. Likewise, compared to the bill incurred in May 2017 of PhP 6.605 million for a total energy consumption of 1,571.2662 MWh, the June 2017 electric bill is lower by PhP 1.5 million. UPLB’s June 2017 electric bill is PhP 5.07 million for a total energy consumption of 1,329.255 MWh.

“Being a direct member of the WESM gives UPLB the power to choose where to get its electricity,” said Engr. John Davis Mangubat, electrical engineer at OVCPD. “UPLB can buy from its supplier when the prices in the market are high at certain intervals, but when the prices in the market are lower than 4.00 PhP/kWh, which is the fixed rate of electricity from its supplier, UPLB may decide not to buy from its supplier.” UPLB’s current supplier is Aboitiz Power Renewables, Inc.

Engr. Mangubat said that for June 2017, UPLB availed itself of a lower effective generation rate of 3.81 PhP/kWh through its WESM membership.  The decrease in the effective generation rate continued in July 2017 with UPLB paying 3.72 PHP/kWh for electricity.

With the unstable prices of electricity in the market, Engr. Mangubat is not sure, though, that there will be a consistent decreasing trend in UPLB’s electric bill. However, he said that the University could take advantage of the lower electricity prices in August to February during the rainy season.

“To do this, we need to study the consumption pattern of the University through power supply planning and demand forecasting, as well as electricity prices in the market and the factors that affect it,” said Engr. Mangubat, who is a part of a team of electrical engineers from UPLB and UP Diliman that studies the dynamics of the electricity market.

The said study is headed by Prof. Rowaldo Del Mundo and Prof. Ivan Benedict Nilo Cruz of the UP Diliman Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute. Other team members are Engr. Athena Lavega, Asst. Prof. Elvin Dulce, Engr. Kim Jay Rosano, and Engr. Jenny Rose Repollo, all of the UPLB Department of Electrical Engineering. “The study is being done not only to find the best supply setup for the University that would ensure continuous savings and lower electricity cost, but to propagate knowledge in the field of electrical engineering,” Engr. Mangubat added.

The UP Board of Regents approved UPLB’s WESM application on Jan. 26, 2017 at its 1324th meeting. The Philippine Electricity Market Corporation, the market operator of the WESM, approved the University’s direct membership on May 25, 2017, making UPLB its first university-member. (Mark Jayson E. Gloria)