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NGCP warns kite flyers near power pylons

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has appealed to the public to desist from kite flying and other activities near its transmission lines, which may endanger lives and cause unwanted power interruptions. It also sought the collective efforts of consumers to conserve electricity as the country gears up for a “new normal” routine.

Based on NGCP records, as of May 29 this year, some 87 incidents of kites entangled in transmission lines were recorded, most of which happened during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period.

As a result of one of these incidents, an 8-hour emergency shutdown of NGCP’s Las-Pinas-Dasmarinas 230kV line occurred last April 25. While no customers were affected, the reliability of the grid was compromised at that time, NGCP said “These rising incidents of kite entanglements comes at a period where electricity is crucial in the ongoing efforts to combat Covid-19. Breaching safety clearances not only threatens power transmission delivery for the entire grid, but also endangers the lives of kite flyers. Transmission lines carry extremely high voltages, between 69,000 volts to 500,000 volts.

Compare this to the power supplied by our outlets, which is only 220 volts. Lines also need not be physically touched to cause accidents,” NGCP said.

The power firm said that while power demand dropped during the ECQ, the downgrading to general community quarantine in the National Capital Region and the gradual resumption of commercial and industrial operations have steadily increased demand for power.

To ensure uninterrupted power delivery services, NGCP is appealing for the prohibition of kite flying, kaingin or grass burning activities, and malicious planting of vegetation below or within the transmission right of way corridor. The power firm also urged the public to implement efficient energy use practices in order to prevent demand-induced power shortages.

NGCP said the following simple power conservation habits include: Removing plugs of appliances from outlets when not in use. Appliances on standby mode still consume electricity; Use compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) or LED bulbs; Keep the air-conditioners at 25°. Close doors and windows before opening the airconditioner.

Regularly clean fan blades and airconditioner filters. Airconditioner condensers must be cleaned every 6 months or earlier, depending on usage; Defrost refrigerators when freezer ice reaches ¼ inch. Make sure refrigerator doors are tightly closed; Shift electricity-heavy tasks such as using the washing machine and ironing to off-peak periods (before 11:00 AM and after 7:00PM).

NGCP assured its customers and stakeholders that its transmission facilities are adequate for the delivery of any and all available power to the grid.

“As we brace for the gradual resumption of our daily routine, we can expect a rise in power demand. Under the EPIRA, we cannot intervene on generation or distribution issues. What we can guarantee is the readiness of our transmission facilities to deliver available power to where it is needed,” NGCP said.

To report kite entanglements, high growing vegetation, and kaingin activities in the proximity of transmission lines and towers, you may contact NGCP’s Tip Hotline at 0917.847.6427 or 0918.847.6427.

NGCP is a Filipino-led, privately owned company in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s power grid, led by majority shareholders and Vice Chairman of the Board Henry Sy, Jr. and Co-Vice Chairman Robert Coyiuto, Jr.

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