A policy mandating government offices to reduce their electricity consumption has resulted in P205 million worth of cumulative electricity savings, or an equivalent of over 20 million kilowatt hour (kWh), in the first quarter of the year.
With the acceleration of the Government Energy Management Program (GEMP) implementation, the Department of Energy (DOE) said Tuesday the regular conduct of energy audits and spot checks also increased the awareness of government entities to adopt energy efficiency and conservation.
The GEMP implementation is guided by the Inter-Agency Energy Efficiency and Conservation Committee (IAEECC) created by Republic Act (RA) No. 11285 or the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act. It aims to reduce the whole government’s electricity and fuel consumption by at least 10 percent through energy efficiency and conservation (EE&C) strategies.
Prior to the EEC Act, the government’s cumulative electricity savings stood at 5 million kWh, equivalent to over P51 million.
The EEC Act, enacted on April 12, 2019, seeks to institutionalize EEC and grant incentives to EEC projects. Its implementing rules and regulations (IRR) were signed on November 22, 2019 and became effective on December 21, 2019.
IAEECC is empowered to prepare an annual assessment of opportunities for energy cost reduction in state-owned and leased buildings and facilities, and mandating the adoption of energy-efficient measures and technologies. This includes the use of light-emitting diode (LED) lamps, inverter-type air-conditioners, and other energy-efficient technologies in government facilities.
The EE&C Public Sector Management Division of the DOE-Energy Utilization Management Bureau is mandated to conduct energy audits and spot checks under the EEC Act and targets a minimum of 100 annual energy audits. At the same time, it authorized third-party auditors, such as the Philippine National Oil Company-Renewable Corporation (PNOC-RC), which assisted in the conduct of energy audits to reach more government entities nationwide.
“We commend the efforts of our government agencies in implementing energy efficiency measures. Small acts and what appears to be minor could indeed drive significant impact, especially when the entire bureaucracy, including the local government units [LGUs] and State Universities and Colleges [ SUCs] would adopt behavioral changes and imbibe energy conservation as a way of life,” DOE Secretary Raphael Lotilla said.
Meanwhile, the DOE’s adoption of a Flexible Work Arrangement (FWA) has recorded 49 percent electricity savings from its Friday work-from-home scheme. From the implementation period in February this year, a significant reduction in electricity consumption of 430,227 kWh or an estimated savings of P5.13 million was realized.
This only demonstrates that the FWA arrangement and the adoption of EEC best practices work and deliver positive results for the government and its employees, the DOE said.
The DOE, during the IAEECC meeting held last March 23, proposed a resolution that encourages the adoption of FWA for all government entities as part of the GEMP to minimize the impact of steep global prices of petroleum products, reduce the consumption of the whole government of both electricity and fuel, and alleviate traffic congestion.