• DENR gives P1.3M subsidy to posh Makati hotel

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    The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has awarded over P1.3 million subsidy to the five-star hotel The Peninsula Manila for using an environmentally friendly air-conditioning system.

    In a ceremony held at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Nature Center, DENR Secretary Ramon Paje said that the amount represents 15 percent of the cost of its newly installed chiller that uses ozone-friendly refrigerants in compliance with the requirements under the Philippine Chiller Energy Efficient Project (PCEEP), a World Bank-assisted project being implemented by the DENR.

    PCEEP aims to speed up the replacement of inefficient chillers and other cooling equipment containing ozone-depleting substances (ODS) used by various industries. The project is funded by grants from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) amounting to US$2.6 million and the Ozone Trust Fund worth US$1 million.

    The Peninsula Manila is the first beneficiary of the PCEEP.

    “Indeed, there is much reward to be had when you are ozone-friendly,” Paje said after handing out a check worth P1,362,438 to The Peninsula Manila General Manager Sonja Vodusek.

    “We hope that other hotels and establishments all over the country will follow suit,” he added.

    The DENR chief also commended the Makati City-based luxury hotel for its “consistent high marks in improving its operations toward becoming more ozone-friendly.”

    “On top of the subsidy, The Peninsula Manila stands to benefit more in terms of lower electric consumption and lower carbon footprint which may also be a big plus in its efforts to green its operations,” Paje said.

    “This alone is a tremendous boost to the hotel’s corporate social responsibility,” he added.

    The Peninsula Manila enrolled in the PCEEP its one 577 tons of refrigeration in December 2010. Five months later or in May 2011, a sub-grant agreement was signed between the DENR and the hotel to formalize the latter’s participation in the project.

    In July 2012, the new 23XRV energy efficient chiller was installed to serve the air-conditioning needs of the hotel.

    A chiller is the main component in refrigeration and air-conditioning systems to cool buildings. Old chillers use ODS and greenhouse gases (GHG) as refrigerants, namely chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HCFCs).

    PCEEP is in support of the country’s commitments to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

    The primary objectives of the project are to reduce GHG emissions by replacing chillers with non-CFC energy efficient ones, and promote energy efficiency and savings.

    At the end of the project life on January 2017, the PCEEP is expected to have replaced 30,649 tons of refrigeration, reduced 5,700 kilograms of ozone-depleting potentials, generated at least 124.7 gigawatt hours in electricity savings and reduced 62,400 tons of greenhouse gases.

    Throughout the project life, a total of 20 sub-grant agreements are expected to be signed that would cover the replacement of at least 53 chiller units.

    Under the project, a grant subsidy of 15 percent of the cost of new non-CFC-based energy efficient chillers will be provided.

    As an added incentive, owners of new chillers enrolled in the program can turn their savings from their electricity bill into revenues by selling them in the carbon finance trading under the Clean Development Mechanism.

    Aside from The Peninsula Manila, also enrolled in the PCEEP are known businesses and commercial establishments like Shoe Mart, Trinoma, Greenbelt, Manila Pavilion, Waterfront Insular Davao Hotel, Marco Polo Davao, Philamlife, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Security Bank, Philippine National Bank and Lufthansa Airlines.

    Government agencies and facilities like the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority, Social Security System, and Cultural Center of the Philippines are also enrolled in the project.

    The Montreal Protocol mandates a complete phase-out of production and consumption of ODS in developing nations by January 1, 2010 and countries are requested to develop measures for the effective use of the ODS recovered from the chillers to meet servicing needs in the refrigeration and air-conditioning sector.

    The Kyoto Protocol, on the other hand, requires developed countries to reduce GHG emissions by an average of 5.2 percent between 2008 and 2012 and enables them to reduce costs of compliance by the purchase of emissions reductions from projects in developing countries through a flexible scheme called the Clean Development Mechanism.

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