Veco urges Cebuano customers to support ‘Earth Hour Philippines 09’

ABOITIZ-led power utility firm Visayan Electric Company (Veco) yesterday vowed its full support for Earth Hour Philippines 2009, as it urges Cebuanos to switch off the main lights in their households to help reduce carbon emissions.

Earth Hour Philippines 2009 is an international campaign calling for serious and sustained action on global warming.

To signify its support for the cause, Veco, along with the World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines, Department of Energy, the Green Army, Switch Movement and the Cebu City government, in the grand switch off campaign tomorrow, March 28 where essential lights are turned off from 8:30-9:30 in the evening.

“Power saved today is power you can use tomorrow,” the company press statement read.

Ethel Natera, Veco Corporate Communications Manager yesterday told Manila Bulletin that the company will not be able to estimate total savings on electricity usage within Veco’s franchise area on the date and time of the campaign since the switching off of lights is voluntary on the part of customers.

“We have been monitoring the (electricity) load last Saturday and will be monitoring the load again this Saturday so we can determine the difference between how much less power will be consumed this March 28,” she said in a phone interview.

Veco is now aggressively informing the public with regard to the Earth Hour campaign by displaying tarpaulins in Veco vehicles, apart from the standees exhibited in their full service centers in SM City Cebu Mall and Talisay, and collection centers in Talamban and Banilad, Cebu.

The company has also commissioned Earth Hour radio ads which are now playing in the local radio stations.

Earth Hour Philippines 2009 hopes to involve 10-million Filipinos and 500 businesses in key cities across nationwide. Globally, it aims to reach one billion people in 1,000 cities worldwide.

Other organizations representing civil society, business communities, religious sector, youth, national agencies and local governments have likewise extended their support for the event.

“This campaign greatly involves everyone no matter where you are in this world. We ask our customers to take part in saving energy and thus, saving Mother Earth,” said Veco Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jimmy Aboitiz, who is himself a strong advocate of energy conservation and movements against global warming.

But Veco’s close to 300,000 customers in their franchise area are encouraged to take it “one bulb further” by changing at least one light bulb to compact flourescent (CFL) bulbs to further reduce carbon emissions.

Each CFL bulb uses 75 percent less energy compared to encandescent bulbs for the same amount of light.

Veco has been taking an active part in efforts to help curb global warming. Last year, the company partnered with lighting fixtures manufacturer, Osram Philippines Limited, in encouraging customers to switch to CFL bulbs. Osram discount coupons were attached to VECO electric bills for a P20 discount on their purchase of CFL bulbs in participating stores.

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