In what could be an indication of rebound in electricity demand, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) reported that the energy sales of electric cooperatives (ECs) had been up by 3.0-percent in the third quarter of 2020.
The government-run agency noted that based on data gathered by its Information Technology and Communication Services Department (ITCSD), the July-September sales of the ECs hovered at 6,153 gigawatt-hours, which was higher than the 5,950 GWh sales posted in the same period the previous year.
Despite upward trend in sales though, NEA indicated that revenues in the third quarter declined by 4.0-percent to P54.128 billion as against P56.407 billion in the same third quarter timeframe in 2019.
If reckoned with the second quarter revenues in 2020 though at P54.074 billion, the results in July to September had been slightly up; and if compared with first quarter’s P49.672 billion, third quarter revenues had been higher by 9.0-percent.
Further, NEA emphasized that volume sales outcome in the third quarter had escalated by a parallel 3.0-percent vis-à-vis results in the second quarter with 5,988 GWh of electricity sold.
The electrification agency nevertheless indicated that energy usage of the residential sector was still at a dip of 59-percent; although that had already gone leaner versus 62-percent logged in the second quarter.
Conversely, the demand of the commercial sector picked up by 18-percent within the July-September stretch compared to a growth of 16-percent in a prior quarter; while for industrial users, this went up slightly to 17-percent as against 16-percent in the second quarter.
Roderick Padua, manager of NEA-ITCSD, pointed out that “the energy consumption level registered in the third quarter was gearing towards the normal level prior to the coronavirus disease pandemic.”
It is worth noting that when lockdowns were enforced in the country – primarily in the March-May period, electricity consumption plummeted by 30 to 40-percent mainly due to stalled economic activities.
For most parts of the country, demand rise shifted to the residential end-users because most Filipinos were restrained at home – be it for work-from-home arrangements or the online learning platform for students – all because of the niggling health crisis.
Industry players in the power sector are doing the spadework for anticipated rise in electricity demand for 2021, given prospects of wider economic re-opening especially if the country gets access to the Covid-19 vaccine.