By Myrna M. Velasco
The Department of Energy (DOE) has issued modified guidelines on the labeling of energy efficiency rating of appliances to guide consumers which products will not result in exorbitant electric bills.
The initial products covered by the DOE-underpinned Philippine Energy Labeling Program (PELP) are for room air-conditioners (RACs), refrigeration units, television sets and lighting products.
Department Circular DC 2020-06-0015 was issued by Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi on June 15. It repealed and superseded the circular on energy efficiency labeling issued by DOE in 2016. This is in compliance with the provisions of Republic Act 11285 or the Energy Efficiency and Conservation (EEC) Act.
The energy department said the labeling program on energy efficiency rating for products “shall apply to all importers, manufacturers, distributors, dealers and retailers of all energy-consuming products, equipment and transport vehicles.”
The DOE specified that the initial coverage shall just be for appliances; while energy efficiency ratings for equipment and transport vehicles will eventually be enforced following warranted consultations and coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) as well as the Department of Transportation; and the industry stakeholders.
It will be the DOE’s Energy Utilization Management Bureau (DOE-EUMB) that shall be responsible for the formulation, promulgation, enforcement, review and evaluation of the PELP policy; and it shall also spearhead the monitoring activities to ensure compliance of all covered industry players.
For the appliances being manufactured or imported and eventually sold to consumers, it was prescribed that they must have the energy efficiency labels printed on the products or on their packaging – and that any attachment of energy efficiency labels shall be visible on the products themselves at point of sale.
At the level of retailers, the DOE policy sets forth that the energy-consuming products that are for sale in stores shall “have the energy labels attached to them on the location prescribed in the Department Circular and are visible to the buyers.”
It was further stipulated that “as applicable, they shall exhibit the energy labels in all their publications, including the advertisement in newspapers, television or leaflets and in all online trading activities.”
Failure to register and comply with the energy labeling program and refusing to submit to on-site inspection of the products as well as on required submission of reports, the DOE said, shall be meted with fines and penalties.
The other violations that could be committed by relevant entities include removing, defacing or altering energy labels before the product is sold to the purchaser; failing to provide accurate information or the provision of false or misleading information; selling, leasing or importing products that do not comply with minimum energy performance for products.
The energy department further noted the labeling program guidelines shall be issued on a per product basis, and these shall flesh out the administrative, application procedures, general, technical and per-product requirement (PPR) as well as the procedure for the monitoring, verification and enforcement of the labeling program.