PRESIDENT RODRIGO DUTERTE has signed into law a bill institutionalizing energy efficiency and conservation, enhancing the efficient use of energy, and granting incentives to energy efficiency and conservation projects in the country.
Duterte signed the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act (Republic Act 11285) on April 12, but a copy of which was released to media only recently.
Under the new law, government recognizes the need to “institutionalize energy efficiency and conservation as a national way of life geared towards the efficient and judicious utilization of energy by formulating, developing, and implementing energy efficiency and conservation plans and programs.”
This way, it would “secure sufficiency and stability of energy supply in the country to cushion the impact of high prices of imported fuels to local markets and protect the environment in support of the economic and social development goals of the country.”
The law creates an Inter-Agency Energy Efficiency and Conservation Committee (IAEECC) to evaluate and approve government energy efficient projects as defined under the new law and to provide strategic direction in the implementation of the Government Energy Management Program (GEMP).
The GEMP refers to the government-wide program to reduce the government’s monthly consumption of electricity and petroleum products through electricity efficiency and conservation, and efficiency and conservation in fuel use of government vehicles, among others.
The IAEECC shall be chaired by the Energy Secretary and composed of the Secretaries of the Department of Budget and Management, Department of Finance, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Transportation, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Interior and Local Government, and the Department of Public Works and Highways, and the Director General of National Economic and Development Authority.
Powers and functions of the IAEECC include to prepare an annual assessment of opportunities for energy cost reduction in state-owned and leased buildings and facilities designated by the IAEECC; to review all proposed capital projects and energy cost operating budgets of agencies designated by the IAEECC; and, recommend energy conversation measures which would reduce operating costs in state-owned and leased buildings or facilities.
The IAEECC is also tasked to provide any officer or entity of government technical and consultative assistance concerning energy cost management or conservation and annually recommends specific operations and maintenance procedure modifications and capital projects for state-owned and leased buildings and facilities designed to reduce energy consumption and costs.
It may also issue a report describing the status of government energy efficiency projects and the GEMP, and develop after study of existing emerging energy conservation technologies and guidelines as may be necessary or desirable to aid the work of the IAEECC among other tasks. The act is a consolidation of Senate Bill 1531 and House Bill 8629 which was passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on January 30. (Azer Parrocha)
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