Legarda Pushes Energy Efficiency, Conservation Bill

July 16, 2016

Senator Loren Legarda has filed a bill seeking to promote energy conservation by providing fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to private firms implementing energy-saving practices and by requiring manufacturers and dealers to comply with the energy efficiency rating of the Department of Energy (DOE).

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change and UN Global Champion for Resilience, seeks to institutionalize energy efficiency and conservation and promote renewable energy in the country through Senate Bill No. 30.

“Energy should not only be produced and used in a manner that will promote sustainable development, but at the same time, it must contribute to the country’s overall economic competitiveness and minimize negative impacts to the environment. While the government has advocated several energy efficiency and conservation measures through various Department Orders and Circulars, these policies have not been institutionalized through legislation,” said Legarda.

“This bill provides for incentives in the form of tax breaks, duty-free imports to support suppliers of renewable technology as well as non-fiscal incentives such as awards or recognition for energy efficiency and conservation and technical assistance from government agencies in the development and promotion of energy-efficient technologies,” she explained.

Under the bill, companies must conduct regular energy audits on establishments where energy consumption and costs will be assessed. Meanwhile, all government agencies and local government units shall ensure the efficient use of energy in their respective offices, facilities and transportation units by incorporating energy saving methods in their local development plans.

“Energy efficiency is the most effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Legarda said, stressing the need to broaden the coverage of existing energy conservation policies if we want to attain our energy efficiency roadmap goals.

The DOE, in addition to its existing mandate, shall develop a National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plan and a system of monitoring the targets that are established.

Moreover, it is tasked to maintain collaborative efforts with the business sector and require manufacturers, importers and dealers to comply with the standards and make sure that their packages are labeled accordingly.

The DOE shall also conduct a fuel economy performance test for motor vehicles to ensure that vehicle manufacturers, importers and dealers comply with fuel economy performance requirements. New buildings shall also comply with the minimum requirements as specified in the Guidelines on Energy Conserving Design on Buildings issued by the DOE, in consultation with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

“We need to institutionalize energy efficiency and conservation as a national way of life. We must work towards the efficient and judicious utilization of energy by developing and implementing energy efficiency and conservation plans and programs. This will help us secure sufficiency and stability of energy supply in the country to cushion the impact of high prices of imported fuels to local markets and protect the environment in support to the economic and social development goals of the country,” said Legarda.