Press Release
February 5, 2018

Nat'l energy efficiency framework OK'd

The Senate today approved on third and final reading a bill which would create a 'comprehensive energy efficiency and conservation framework' that would serve as an alternative approach to the country's efforts to attain secure, affordable, and sustainable power.

Senate Bill No. 1531, or the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act of 2018, was sponsored by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chair of the Senate Committee on Energy, and was approved with 18 affirmative votes, zero negative vote and no abstention.

SBN 1531 is a consolidation of SBN 30, authored by Senator Loren Legarda, and SBN 525, by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

Gatchalian said that the bill would primarily institute an energy efficiency and conservation regime in the Philippines, "aimed at enhancing the stability and sustainability of the Philippine energy supply, with resulting consumer savings while driving economic productivity to even greater heights."

"The proposed policy framework would be based on two central concepts - energy efficiency which is a way to manage and restrain the growth in energy consumption resulting to the delivery of more services for the same energy input, and energy conservation which is the reduction of losses and wastages from energy production to consumption," he said.

The bill is able to achieve this mandate through the development and utilization of new and alternative energy-efficient technologies and systems. It also prescribes the creation of the 'National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plan,' and the development and maintenance of a 'National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Database' throughout the country. Furthermore, efficiency standards will be imposed for energy-consuming products such as machinery, equipment, and appliances; and the commercial, industrial, and transport sectors.

According to Gatchalian, this bill will allow government to identify energy-intensive establishments based on their respective annual energy consumption. Such establishments will have to meet certain obligations, "such as the establishment of targets, plans, and methods for the implementation of energy efficiency and conservation projects."

The bill would also require the creation of an energy efficiency rating and labelling system, guidelines on energy conserving design for buildings, and fuel economy performance labelling for transport vehicles.

Another key provision of the bill is that it would integrate energy efficiency and conservation programs into the local governance government level, through the formation of a Local Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plan, and attachment of the Guidelines on Energy Conserving Design on Buildings in the issuance of building permits.

To ensure compliance, Gatchalian said the bill provided incentives to establishments that would "implement or are implementing energy efficient projects." These incentives will be in the form of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, as well as technical assistance from government agencies and financial assistance from government financial institutions.

The Department of Energy (DOE) was designated by the bill as the lead agency that would engage in the planning, enforcement, and monitoring of the energy management policies under the new framework, as well as other energy efficiency and conservation initiatives.

Gatchalian stressed the need to implement a national energy efficiency policy framework, and pointed out that the Philippines remains to be the only ASEAN member-state without national legislation on the matter.

"The passage of this legislation will foster robust inclusive economic growth as we strive to meet the country's ambitious long term socio-economic goals," he said. (Yvonne Almirañez)

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