Gov’t agencies urged to comply with energy saving programs to address tight power supply

All government agencies, including local government units (LGUs), should comply with the mandatory energy efficiency and conservation measures in anticipation of a tight power supply in Luzon and Visayas grids ahead of the dry months.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said all government agencies should ensure compliance with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation (EEC) Act, or Republic Act No. 11285, which he co-authored and sponsored in the Senate.

The law specifically provides for the implementation of a Government Energy Management Program (GEMP) aimed at reducing the government’s monthly consumption of electricity and fuel use of government vehicles.

Gatchalian, who heads the Senate Energy Committee, also stressed that the GEMP covers government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs), government financial institutions (GFIs), state universities and colleges (SUCs) as well as local government units (LGUs).

“The government should lead the way in complying with the provisions of the law institutionalizing energy efficiency and conservation,” Gatchalian said.

“In enacting this law, we want to institutionalize energy efficiency and conservation as a national way of life to secure sufficiency and stability of energy supply in the country and to help cushion the impact of high prices of imported fuels,” the senator said.

In a resolution issued in 2020, the Inter-Agency Energy Efficiency and Conservation Committee (IAEECC) required the designation of an energy efficiency and conservation officer (EEC officer) in all government offices, GFIs, GOCCs, SUCs and LGUs who shall lead in the planning and adoption of energy efficiency and conservation strategies.

A total of 7,441 government offices are required to designate their respective EEC officer. But as of October 27, 2021, Gatchalian said only 1,760 offices or 24 percent have complied with the said requirement. Seventy-six percent (76%) are non-compliant.

Gatchalian pointed out submitting to the requirements of the law would be beneficial to the environment and at the same time help the government save money that can be used for other social services.

“It will also be beneficial to the environment and our finances. Our government should take the lead to encourage the public to do their share in energy conservation,” said Gatchalian, who is seeking another term in the Senate in next month’s elections.

The IAEECC also recently issued an advisory to government agencies to set a 10 percent reduction target for power and fuel consumption to mitigate the impacts of the Russia-Ukraine crisis and to ensure ample electricity during the upcoming May 2022 elections.