• Energy group calls for stronger efficiency policy

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    ENERGY efficiency stakeholders are seeking from the Department of Energy (DOE) a stronger policy on accelerating Philippine compliance toward a low carbon energy sector.

    The Philippine Energy Efficiency Alliance Inc. (PE2), composed of 27 companies, seeks an expanded coverage of the proposed DOE circular to be released by the end of March. An expanded circular would include obligations of medium and large energy consumers may potentially serve as a bridge policy while efforts are underway to pass an urgent legislation.

    “There has been no energy efficiency and conservation law in the Philippines in the last 36 years. We believe that policies shifting toward energy efficiency, rather than energy conservation, support economic growth instead of stifling it,” PE2 president Alexander Ablaza said.

    Formerly the Philippine Association of Energy Service Companies (PAESCO), PE2 is organized to mobilize the support not only of energy service companies but also of other energy efficiency market players such as technology and solutions providers, engineering, procurement and construction service providers, consultants, investors, financiers, financial institutions, commercial and industrial end-users, and large energy conservation and agencies implementing RE programs.

    “Energy efficiency is the fastest, most cost-effective means to create energy supply buffers and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Ablaza, an energy efficiency practitioner with Asia-wide experience.

    The Philippines has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent by 2030 relative to its businesses-as-usual scenario of 2000 to 2030 by the Climate Change Commission (CCC).

    “We commend the DOE for coming out with the circular as this is a step in the right direction. However, we must broaden the coverage of the circular if we want to achieve our 2030 energy intensity and emission reduction targets,” the official said.

    PE2 and the Energy Efficiency Practitioners Association of the Philippines believe that a broader DOE department circular must be aligned with the Substitute Bill on energy efficiency and conservation recently approved by the House of Representatives Committee on Energy.

    “The circular becomes the bridge policy while we are waiting for the passage of the bill. We are still hopeful that the bill will be passed soon,” Ablaza said.

    Among the proposed inclusions are the obligations of all establishments consuming at least 2 gigawatt-hours annually, which include employing an energy manager, energy audits every three years, and targeted reductions.

    Ablaza said energy efficiency coverage should not only be limited to households and select transport sector under the proposed minimum energy performance standards of technologies largely utilized by households but should cut across all energy-consuming sectors and industries.

    Attaining the Philippine energy efficiency roadmap goals needs an estimated investment of P8.3 trillion from the private sector to reduce the final energy demand by 2030, he noted.

    The investment will be offset by an estimated P19.7 trillion in energy savings when the energy demand that is reduced by 125 million tons of oil equivalent in 2030, Ablaza added.

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