Towards an Energy Self-Reliant Country

  • Towards an Energy Self-Reliant Country

Institutionalizing Energy Efficiency and Conservation

Posted as Special Feature by Manila Times (page B12), 28 June 2019

DEPLETION of energy resources seems to be a distant possibility for many. “It will take decades to happen, and by the time it does, there will be new technology that will create an alternative,” they are wont to say. But depletion leaves residues that are dangerous to human health and impact on human life. So energy conservation techniques should reduce demand, protect and replenish supplies, and develop and use alternative energy sources while cleaning up the damage caused by earlier energy use.

Signed on April 12 this year, Republic Act 11285, described as an “act institutionalizing energy efficiency and conservation, enhancing the efficient use of energy, and granting incentives to energy efficiency and conservation projects,” is seen as a major step toward realizing the country’s goals in solving its energy woes

Rep. Lord Allan Jay Q. Velasco, Chairman of the Committee on Energy of the House of Representatives, 17th Congress (Photo: Manila Times)
Rep. Lord Allan Jay Q. Velasco, Chairman of the Committee on Energy of the House of Representatives, 17th Congress (Photo: Manila Times)

According to Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, who chairs the House committee on energy and a co- author of the measure, “This would ensure the judicious use of the country’s energy resources and promote the development of the utilization of both new and alternative sources of energy-efficient technologies and systems.”

Velasco noted that Congress had been trying to pass such measure since the 8th Congress in 1988.

“After three decades of pendency with Congress, we are finally seeing the legislation coming to light. We thank President Duterte for signing this milestone law and making it a reality,” he said.

“The signing of the law also comes at a very crucial time as the country is facing constant threats of unreliable and insufficient power supply that is hurting the people and businesses,” Velasco said.

RA 11285 is seen to standardize and synchronize energy efficiency and conservation measures on the use of energy efficient technologies in buildings and include energy conserving designs on buildings in the issuance of building permits.

Under the new law will be created a National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plan (NEECP) to define national targets, details feasible strategies, and imposes a regular monitoring and evaluation system.

Local governments will have an essential role with the creation of a Local Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plan and the inclusion of Guidelines on Energy Conserving Design on Building in the issuance of building permits.

Also, a National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Database (NEECD), where relevant information about energy consumption as well as the application of energy efficient and renewable energy technologies shall be centrally stored, will be developed and maintained.

RA 11285 would also create an Inter- Agency Energy Efficiency and Conservation Committee that will be tasked to provide strategic direction in the implementation of the Government Energy Management Program (GEMP), a program to reduce monthly consumption of electricity and petroleum products by the government.

All government agencies, including government- owned and - controlled corporations, are instructed to ensure the efficient use of energy in their respective offices, facilities, transportation units, and in the discharge of their functions.

According to the World Bank government energy efficiency projects can help the government save P3.4 billion per year, while the European Union Access to the Sustainable Energy Programme has estimated that a 10-percent [can] 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.

Velasco said the signing of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act will complement the Energy Virtual One- Stop Shop (EVOSS) Act which streamlines the permitting process of power generation, transmission, and distribution projects to reduce the cost of doing business in the country and encourage investors. The law was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on March 8.

Under RA 11234, prospective power generation, transmission or distribution companies can apply, monitor and receive all the necessary permits, and even pay for charges and fees, through the online platform called EVOSS, cutting down the lengthy permitting process that has turned off investors in the past.

“This administration is laying all the bricks that will ensure the country gets sufficient and reliable power supply and, at the same time, encourage investments for the energy sector to meet the ever- growing demand of the population and the economy,” Velasco said.

RA 11285 assigns 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 plans and programs.

The DoE is also tasked with developing a system of monitoring the implementation of the NEECP, and maintain the NEECD.

Under RA 11285, the DoE is instructed 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.

It also seeks national awareness and advocacy campaign on energy [efficiency, which] will likewise be done by the DoE, in partnership with business, academe, non-government organizations, and other sectors.

The DoE is also tasked 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.

Incentives

Incentives under the law include fiscal incentives, non- fiscal, and financial assistance.

Energy efficiency projects certified by the DoE will be included I the annual investment priorities plan of the Board of Investments (BOI) and will be entitled to the incentives provided under Executive Order No. 226, otherwise known as the “Omnibus Investments Code of 1987” and other applicable laws for 10 years from when the Act takes effect provided. The inclusion of energy efficiency projects in the annual investment priorities plan will be reviewed and may be extended by the BOI.

For non- fiscal incentives, establishment that will implement or are implementing energy efficiency projects will be entitled to a) the provision of awards and recognition for innovations in energy efficiency and conservation best practices, and successful energy efficiency projects and energy efficient products; and b) the provision of technical assistance from government agencies in the development and promotion of energy efficient technologies.

GFIs and other financial institutions shall, in accordance with and to the extent allowed by the enabling provisions of their respective charters or applicable laws, provide concessional financial packages for the development, utilization, and commercialization of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects as duly recommended and endorsed by the DoE.

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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

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