PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a measure institutionalizing a national framework aimed at advancing energy efficiency and conservation practices in the country.
Duterte signed Repulic Act (RA) 11285, or the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act, on April 12, in a bid to secure sufficiency and stability of the country's energy resources by promoting the development and utilization of efficient renewable energy technologies and systems.
RA 11285 establishes a framework that will introduce fundamental policies on energy efficiency and conservation, including the promotion of efficient and judicious utilization of energy, increase in the utilization of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, and the delineation of responsibilities among various government agencies and private entities.
The newly-signed law creates the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plan (NEECP), a national comprehensive framework that defines national targets and feasible strategies, as well as imposes regular monitoring and evaluation system.
The law also mandates the development and maintenance of a National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Database (NEECD), a centralized, comprehensive and unified database on the application and use of energy efficient and renewable technologies, and other relevant information that will about energy consumption.
The Energy Efficiency and Conversation Act delegates the Department of Energy (DOE) as the lead agency responsible for the planning, formulation, development, implementation, enforcement, and monitoring of energy management policies and other related energy efficiency conservation plans and programs.
The DOE is also tasked to develop a system of monitoring the implementation of the NEECP, and maintain the NEECD.
RA 11285 also instructs the Energy department to initiate and maintain collaborative efforts with the business sector, particularly the commercial, industrial, transport, and power sectors, to ensure compliance with the law and broaden and enhance their efficient and judicious utilization of energy.
The law also seeks national awareness and advocacy campaign on energy efficiency and conservation that will likewise be done by the DOE, in partnership with business, academe, non-government organizations, and other sectors.
The DOE is directed to provide annual reports to the Senate and the House of Representatives, with regard to the status of the implementation of the law at the national and local levels, cost effectiveness outcomes, and energy and environmental impacts, among others.
The law instructs all government agencies, including government-owned and -controlled corporations, to ensure the efficient use of energy in their respective offices, facilities, transportation units, and in the discharge of their functions.
RA 11285 also creates an Inter-Agency Energy Efficiency and Conservation Committee that is tasked to provide strategic direction in the implementation of the government energy management program, a program that will reduce monthly consumption of electricity and petroleum products by the government.
The European Union Access to the Sustainable Energy Programme has estimated that a 10-percent improvement in efficiency will save the Philippines P55.5 billion, which translates to a P140 monthly or P1,680 annual savings in the monthly electricity bill of the average household.
The World Bank has also reported that government energy efficiency projects can help the government save P3.4 billion per year.
The Palace released a copy of RA 11285 on Tuesday, May 7. (SunStar Philippines)