Senate passes nat’l energy efficiency framework on third reading

MANILA Voting 18-0, the Senate on Monday approved on third and final reading a measure institutionalizing a framework to advance energy efficiency and conservation practices in the country.

Senate Bill 1531, or the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act of 2018, aims to make the national energy supply more sustainable, stable, and affordable by mandating the efficient and judicious use of energy resources and promoting the development and utilization of both new and alternative sources of energy-efficient technologies and systems.

Once ratified, the measure mandates the creation of a National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plan that defines national targets, details feasible strategies, and imposes a regular monitoring and evaluation system.

A National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Database will also be developed where relevant information about energy consumption as well as the application of energy efficient and renewable energy technologies shall be centrally stored.

The bill would also create an Inter-Agency Energy Efficiency and Conservation Committee that will be tasked to provide strategic directions in the implementation of the Government Energy Management Program (GEMP), a program to reduce monthly consumption of electricity and petroleum products by the government.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, the principal author of the measure, lauded the bill's passage in the Senate, hailing it is a step towards realizing energy efficiency at par with internationally accepted standards.

"We are helping shape the consciousness of our consumers, including the government, through a change in the policy regime regulating energy consumption. The strategies detailed in this measure are all poised to provide not only savings for the government but also more money in people's pockets," the chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy said.

He said that if the country's energy efficiency reaches half as the energy efficiency of Germany - considered as one among the most energy efficient countries in the world - the country can achieve an estimated savings of around PHP1.6-trillion in a 12-year period from 2018 to 2030.

This translates to about PHP 126.4-billion in average annual savings.

On the other hand, reaching energy efficiency standards as that of Germany could result to an estimated savings of PHP420 billion yearly or around PHP 5.5-trillion over the same period.

"We sincerely thank our colleagues for their support. With its passage today, we are moving yet another step forward towards realizing efficient ways of utilizing energy in the country that are attuned to acceptable international standards," Gatchalian said.

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 added. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency