PE2 seeks green building focus on EE in existing buildings during PGBI event

Date Published: 
November 5, 2021
  • PE2 seeks green building focus on EE in existing buildings during PGBI event
    (Images: PGBI)

MAKATI CITY, 5 November 2021 - The Philippine Green Building Initiative (PGBI) a non-profit organization that assesses and rates green building performance invited Philippine Energy Efficiency Alliance (PE2) president Alexander Ablaza to share his expertise on “Decarbonizing Existing Building Stock through Accelerated Energy Efficiency Retrofits” in its annual “Green Breakthroughs” event held virtually earlier today. The event gathered key players in the green building sector for an exchange on groundbreaking innovations and developments in engineering technology, energy efficiency and design solutions. The Green Breakthroughs 2021 event adopted the theme “The Imperative for Resiliency and Adaptation in the Time of Climate Change and the Pandemic.”

While national policy frameworks, the property sector and the construction industry are fast mainstreaming green building standards as the new norm, much has to be done in emerging markets such as the Philippines to support the decarbonization of large existing building stock by removing market and viability barriers to energy efficiency retrofits by energy service companies (ESCOs). The discussion also identified opportunities that build on the policy foundation of RA 11285 (EE&C Act) and engage the ESCO industry to scale-up the "greening" of existing buildings in the commercial and public sectors.

Angelo Tan of the International Finance Corporation opened the events with an appeal for private sector collaboration toward the race to net zero. PGBI Vice-Chairman Arch. Amado de Jesus Jr. served as master of ceremonies for the three clusters of the webinar.

Cluster A “Shelter and the Built-Environment Going for a Paradigm Shift” was opened by its moderator IDr. Lilia de Jesus and featured speakers, Arch. Alfredo B. Bautista from United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) on recalibrating the practice of architecture, Dr. Raymond Paolo Abad from Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE) on the future of sustainable transport for the regions with Region VI as case study, and IDr. Michael Pizzaro of Philippine Institute of Interior Designers (PIID) on the impact of current events on building indoors by transforming spaces and co-authoring experiences.

Cluster B “New trends to answer the call of the times” had Engr. Dominador Castro Jr. leading the panel discussions as moderator. The speakers were Engr. Rosendo Perez Jr. of Philippine Society of Ventilating, Airconditioning and Refrigerating Engineers (PSVARE) on recollection of HVAC industry response to COVID-19 and measures to implement, Engr. Joel Diaz of the Philippine Society of Sanitary Engineers (PSSE) on balancing water supply demand amidst the pandemic and Engr. Alexander Ablaza of PE2 upon nomination by the Institute of Integrated Electrical Engineers of the Philippines (IIEE) on decarbonizing existing building stock through accelerated energy efficiency retrofits.

Cluster C  “Upholding Man's Way of Life” was introduced by Arch. Angelo Liwanag as moderator and had panelists, Erik Akpedonu of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) who talked about inspirations from the past, ideas for the future, Dr. Nathaniel von Einsiedel of the Heritage Conservation Society (HCS) looked into the costs and benefits of compact cities  while Engr. Emmanuel Punsalan of the local chapter of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) shared information on how ASHRAE guidelines can uphold sustainability of heritage buildings. He gave insightful reasons on the goals of preservation and why there’s a need to preserve the cultural heritage, its properties and histories.

Screenshot from the Cluster B session of the PGBI event shows (clockwise from upper left) Engr. Dominador de Castro, Engr. Joel Diaz, Engr. Rosendo Perez Jr. and PE2 president Alexander Ablaza. (Image: PE2)
Screenshot from the Cluster B session of the PGBI event shows (clockwise from upper left) Engr. Dominador de Castro, Engr. Joel Diaz, Engr. Rosendo Perez Jr. and PE2 president Alexander Ablaza. (Image: PE2)

PE2’s Alexander Ablaza revealed that the investment opportunity in energy efficiency (EE) in Southeast Asia is valued at USD 892 billion through 2040 and EE in buildings represent about 38% of this amount. ASEAN aspires to reduce its energy intensity by 20% in 2020 and 30% by 2025 compared with 2005 levels. Energy efficiency in buildings (EEB) will therefore be a key strategy to slow down the growth of energy demand significantly in developing countries.

According to the report UNEP 2020 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction, investments in building energy efficiency across global markets increased to USD 152 billion in 2019, an increase of 3% from 2018. However, building efficiency remains a mere 2.7% of the USD 5.8 trillion spent in the building and construction sector, where for every USD 1 spent on energy efficiency, USD 37 is spent on conventional construction approaches.

Ablaza said that several empirical studies of building markets establish a positive correlation between energy efficiency and higher market values for real estate properties. Based on the International Energy Agency report that EE in Real Estate increases commercial and industrial asset values, reduces vacancy and tenant turnover and increases ease of selling properties. EE leads to a reduction of energy costs income, reducing borrowers’ probability of default while retrofitting impacts positively on property value ensuring wealth conservation and loss mitigation by preventing “brown discount.”

The PE2 head also emphasized that EE in buildings creates more jobs than other decarbonizing actions in the energy sector.

Ablaza estimates that the Philippines will need to mobilize PHP12 trillion through both on-balance sheet modalities (such as debt-financed or self –financed) and off-balance sheet modalities (such as ESCO performance contracting, public-private partnership transactions, build-own-operate-transfer contracts, joint-venture agreements and portfolio investments) through 2040.

Ablaza concluded that by using ESCOs to deliver energy efficiency and financing solutions outside the balance sheets of building owners can accelerate EE retrofits among existing buildings as a climate thrust and energy security strategy of several economies.

About PE2

Philippine Energy Efficiency Alliance Inc. (PE2), is a non-stock, non-profit organization of energy efficiency market stakeholders.

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Republic Act 11285

R.A. 11285 - An Act Institutionalizing Energy Efficiency and Conservation, Enhancing the Efficient Use of Energy, and Granting Incentives to Energy Efficiency and Conservation Projects

RA 11285 - Text

RA 11285 - Signed

IRR - Signed

Beyond COVID-19: How governments, ESCOs and innovative financial modalities can mobilize energy efficiency capital through 2040

Working Together to Bridge an Energy Efficiency Financing Gap


PE2 Infographics on Energy Efficiency and Conservation Roadmap Targets

Infographics on Roadmap Targets for Energy Efficiency and Conservation

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