Being the sole provider of electricity in the province, the Biliran Electric Cooperative, Inc. (BILECO) aimed for a reliable and efficient delivery of electric service to its member-consumers. Yet, inevitably, power disruption occurs in the neighborhood or even as wide as the entire coverage area due to several reasons which could derail significant events or crucial operations.
Under Section 18.104.22.168 of the Philippine Distribution Code (PDC), “A power Interruption shall include any Outage in the primary Distribution System, extending from the distribution substation to the distribution transformers, which may be due to the tripping action of protective devices during faults or the failure of primary distribution lines and/or transformers, and which results in the loss of service to one or more Customers or Users.”
Some power interruptions are scheduled while others occur unexpectedly. Scheduled or pre-planned power outage usually means important maintenance or upgrades are to be conducted in an area. BILECO provides at least 2 to 3 days advance notice to the member-consumers affected through text assistant and other media prior to the actual interruption.
Conversely, unscheduled or unplanned power outage is an unexpected (that is, without due notice to the member-consumers) power failure in a distribution line which may occur any time of the day for a range of reasons. This outage can further be classified into momentary and sustained line fault.
A momentary power interruption is a brief disruption in electric service, usually lasting no longer than five (5) minutes. This interruption is the result of temporary faults in the distribution of electricity. The most common causes (otherwise called as trippers) of momentary interruptions are lightning strikes, fallen branches of trees, or animals, such as bats, coming into contact with power lines. Most distribution systems only track momentary interruptions at the substation, which does not account for pole-mounted devices that might momentarily interrupt a customer. Electronic logging of these interruptions is essential for purposes of validation, monitoring and generation of reports.
On the other hand, sustained power interruption is defined as any interruption typically much more readily identifiable, since it results in a complete loss of power for a comparatively extended time period, specifically lasts more than five (5) minutes. Most common causes of this are toppled electric poles, fallen branches, lightning strikes which further provoke damage to the system, nocturnal animals contacting power lines, cars crashing in a utility pole, adverse weather (major storms and strong winds), burning of poles, manual switching of equipment and other natural or human interventions. When sustained power outage occurs, power restoration crew conducts line patrol to identify the cause/s of outage and follow protocols to restore power. Power restoration depends on the kind of fault or cause of interruption.
Promulgated and enforced by the Energy Regulatory Commission through R.A. 9136 (EPIRA of 2001), PDC provides performance standards governing electric distribution utilities in terms of system distribution reliability. These reliability indices include measures of outage duration, frequency of outages, system availability, and response time.
As provided, momentary interruption, one that is hardly inevitable due to exposure of lines to transient objects 24/7, must not occur more than six (6) times in a month. It is a one enormous challenge for distribution utilities to chart plans and institutionalize practices to keep abreast with said standard. Yet, through everyday experience, it is without prejudice that Biliran Electric Cooperative, Inc. has coped with this challenge given its efficient distribution operations for the past several years after its continuous system upgrades as manifested by high regards on its performance by the National Electrification Administration.
Being the sole distributor of electricity in Biliran, BILECO will continue to conform to these standards to achieve system distribution reliability not only during vital occasions but all throughout the year.