DOE pushes switch to high-efficiency motors

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The Department of Energy (DOE) is encouraging more industries to switch to high efficiency motors (HEMs) that consume less power.

According to the DOE, the Philippine industrial sector is considered the fastest growing in the Asia-Pacific region. A study from CBRE Aspac two years ago showed the country’s booming industrial sector grew by 10.8 percent and the manufacturing industry at 7.5 percent in 2015.

Along with the growth of the country’s industrial and manufacturing sectors also comes the need to change the way the country consumes energy. Currently, majority of the private companies belonging to the industrial and manufacturing sectors use old electric motors that are mostly energy inefficient. These inefficiencies take toll on the environment in terms of higher level of greenhouse gas emissions as well as air pollution.

As a signatory to the Paris Climate Change Conference of the Parties 2015 (COP 21), the Philippines is bound by international commitment to reduce carbon emissions.


So the DOE has led and been involved in campaigns to increase the country’s energy efficiency. Among the private sector-initiated projects it has endorsed is the Switch to High Efficiency Motors and Drive Systems (Switch to HEMs) that is funded by the European Union’s Switch Asia Program.

Need to replace old motors

The Switch to HEMs project encourages industries to replace their old and inefficient electric motors with high efficiency motors and drive systems, and reap electricity savings and better operational outcomes immediately and over the long term. By switching to HEMs, businesses are given the opportunity to reduce operating costs, while reducing environmental impact.

“The HEMs project is currently working with sugar mills, cement manufacturers, water utilities, food processors, and small and medium scale enterprises in transitioning to high efficiency motors, and gain a first hand experience of its benefits,” the DOE said in a statement.

“The Philippines must remain competitive and [we]should be ready to improve the way we use energy.
Fortunately, we have technical skills and know-how in adopting technologies and solutions. We are working with Energy Service Companies and providers to [enhance]their capacity to be able to help companies adopt HEMS,” said Marvin Bathan, project manager of the EU HEMs Project.

The DOE’s commitment to drive the industries’ adaptation of HEMs is followed by identifying means to ease the switch to HEMs and encourage investment by creating “green financing” products developed through consultations and partnerships with local banks. To date, a number of banks, such as Bank of the Philippine Islands, Development Bank of the Philippines, Land Bank of the Philippines, and Philippine National Bank have participated in the project and joined the energy efficiency campaign.

To sustain the switch to high efficiency motors, the DOE in partnership with the Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS) has also laid the ground work for the country to adopt a minimum efficiency performance standard for electric motors, a policy instrument that is already followed by many developed and developing countries. The policy will set minimum efficiency levels for electric motors that can be manufactured or imported in the country.
In this regard, BPS is deliberating the adoption of international standards to serve as basis for MEPS for electric motors.

The HEMs project is a partnership among the Institute of Integrated Electrical Engineers of the Philippines Inc.; the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines;, the Asian Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation, Inc.; the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific; the Association for Sustainable Development; the International Copper Association South East Asia, the Philippine Sugar Millers Association; Bank of the Philippine Islands; and the DOE.

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