Compliance with PH energy efficiency plan urged

Published April 12, 2021, 2:41 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

National government agencies (NGAs) as well as local government units (LGUs) have been prodded to lead the way in complying with the mandated energy efficiency and conservation (EE&C) roadmap and standards being cast for the country.

This was the passionate call of House Speaker Lord Allan Jay Velasco on Monday’s Energy Efficiency Day, as he emphasized that “by making our energy systems more efficient, there’s less need for new power companies to build or expand.”

Speaker Lord Allan Velasco (Lord Allan Velasco’s Office / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Being a principal author of Republic Act 11285 or the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act, Velasco similarly reminded the Department of Energy (DOE) on its decreed major task to “create a national energy efficiency and conservation plan or the NEECP,” and for the agency to set up a database that can provide handy information on energy consumption as well as the application of energy-efficient and renewable energy technologies.

The enforcement of the NEECP, he laid down, shall be aided by a committee to “provide strategic directions in the implementation of the government energy management program that seeks to reduce monthly consumption of electricity and petroleum products.”

 Velasco stressed that “the first order of the day is to set up a national plan so that everyone will be on the same page,” calling further on the LGUs and all government agencies “to ensure efficient use of energy in their offices, facilities and transportation units.”

  In fact, as desired by most relevant stakeholders in the energy sector, it should have been the DOE showcasing ‘best practices’ in energy efficiency and conservation at its offices.

 Unfortunately though, the lead implementer of the country’s energy efficiency law cannot still “practice what it preaches” within its very own territory because the DOE offices still fall short from being EE-compliant — and this is also a dilemma for most government agencies.

 Velasco likewise called on the DOE to “develop minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) for energy consuming products,” and for the agency to cast the pathway toward the EEC law’s mandate for “vehicle manufacturers and dealers to comply with government fuel economy standards.”

 While there are current challenges in the implementation of the various prescriptions of the EE&C Law, the House leader noted that the sector must extensively capture the ‘jobs machine’ potential of energy efficiency especially for the more than 4.2 million Filipinos forced out from their jobs by the health crisis.

 “We need to tap the potential of (the) sector especially during this pandemic when many of our countrymen are out of jobs. Energy efficiency is largely untapped here and could be a source of employments,” Velasco contended.

 Based on the estimates of the Philippine Energy Efficiency Alliance (PE2 Alliance), if the targeted capital mobilization will be concretized, prospective energy efficiency projects in the country could generate as much as 9.0 million jobs – which is double the current workplace displacements caused by the pandemic.

The House Speaker further cited that for every P50 million invested in energy efficiency ventures, it was calculated that such redounds to 37.2 jobs being created.

“Energy efficiency projects have minimal environmental impacts; and still the least-cost means for the country to meet its energy security objectives and greenhouse gas emission reduction obligations,” he indicated.

Citing concepts set forth by the Paris-headquartered International Energy Agency (IEA), Velasco recapitulated that energy efficiency is “the first fuel because it will continue to be the cheapest, fastest and most untapped energy resource that can be quickly deployed to bring short, medium and long-term energy security goals as well as comply with the Paris climate agreement.”