SM, Marco Polo encourage energy efficiency measures

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

BIG power consumers such as SM Malls and Marco Polo Plaza Cebu are ramping up measures on energy conservation and efficiency. 

The two firms, which have enrolled in Veco’s interruptible load program (ILP), encouraged other power consumers to embark on the same initiatives.



Sharing some of the energy best practices during the Cebu Unplugged Energy Forum hosted by Veco last Monday, Dorothea Adlawan, technical operations administrator of the engineering department of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu, said one of the measures adopted by the hotel is the use of generator sets for two hours every day.

The five-star hotel has three sources of power: generator sets, solar panels, and steam boiler.

Adlawan said the hotel adopted the use of LED lights since last year in all function rooms, lobby and all public areas and shuts off elevators and walk-in chillers during low occupancy and when not in use. It also utilizes solar panels for swimming pools and steam in laundry and kitchens.

She said there is an ongoing steam recovery project at the laundry area to minimize consumption of steam and boiler feed fuel, as well as an ongoing installation of variable frequency driver (VFD) at selected pumps.


Adlawan stressed the hotel is keen on implementing energy conservation and efficiency programs because aside from helping the environment, it also improves revenue.

SM Malls, on the other hand, are also aggressive in implementing energy conservation and earth-friendly practices for business continuity.

Paolo Diaz, assistant mall manager of SM City Cebu and SM Seaside City said the firm’s measures include the efficient mall design, reduction of carbon emissions, energy efficiency and implementing water recycling process.

He said the firm’s program is to further reduce overall carbon emissions by as much as 40,000 tons per year.

Diaz reported that SM logged an 11.6 percent reduction their average electrical consumption last year, mainly due to some practices the mall incorporated. This includes the use of technology for real time online monitoring, of which 46 SM malls are connected, the use of vestibules for mall entrances, preference for LED lightning and constant monitoring of resource consumption.

Small efforts

The firm also installed solar panels in one of their malls in China. Diaz said SM is now studying the possibility of bringing the technology to the Philippines.

Undersecretary Raul Aguilos of the Department of Energy (DOE) said that while additional power facilities are definite solutions to achieve long term goals, energy conservation and efficient use of energy products are short-term action plans to address the present power situation.

“While investing in power plants is for big players, conservation of energy is a method by which all of us can contribute,” he said.

Aguilos said the DOE currently has an ongoing information, education and communication campaign which provides awareness on energy conservation even in the smallest of ways. The department also mounted a website called, which enables consumers to compare common house appliances based on their efficiency and energy consumption.

Plans in the pipeline

According to the DOE, the Visayas grid has about 16 committed power plant projects until 2016 worth at least P56 billion with a total capacity of 587.6 megawatts. Five of these projects are expected to commercially operate this year, another five in 2015 and two in 2016. The two remaining projects don’t have schedules for operation yet.

Veco recently acknowledged through the Kasangga Awards the Cebu Provincial Capitol and 22 big establishments that had an interruptible load agreement with the power utility firm and generated power using their own generators during the power shortage. KOC

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 26, 2014.


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