The challenge for the Department of Energy always has something to do with compelling government agencies and private entities to comply with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation (EE&C) Act by way of reducing their electricity and fuel consumption. The carrot was that full compliance would result in certain advantages, particularly profits, savings, and sustainable economic development. The good thing is, the Department of Energy has new powerful tool at their disposal; Republic Act (RA) 12285 or the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act. But what is it about it that makes it a powerful law?
Tailored for strong implementation
In the early 1980s, the national government paved the way for a greener and more responsible Philippines by way of passage of a law that urged businesses to volunteer to conserve energy. The problem was on compliance as the law seemingly lacked teeth on account of it only urged businesses to promote energy conservation voluntarily, by doing actions like “avoiding unnecessary and excessive lighting.” And decades later after its pilot, the law provides the concerned agencies with more muscle for enforcement. On May 24, 2019, the RA 11285 or the Energy Efficiency and Conservation (EE&C) Act took effect, and compliance is now MANDATORY instead of just voluntary. Let’s take a look on the updates and implications of the stronger RA 11285.
- Compliance with RA 11285 entitles businesses to incentives, such as income tax holidays and duty free importations. Assistance from government agencies on the implantation of their energy efficient technologies are also provided.
- For any executive who thinks about cutting corners and ignoring this new law, higher penalties and mandatory jail time awaits. You read that right. Corporate funds won’t be able to save wrong-doers from spending time behind bars.
- The “Minimum Energy Performance” (MEP) standard is one of the key points of RA 11285. It requires commercial, industrial, transport sectors, and practically all energy-consuming products including appliances, lighting, electrical equipment, machinery and transport vehicles to make their energy requirement and consumption efficiency transparent for would-be consumers for them to make informed decisions. You’ll usually see this on product packaging. Think of your last visit to your local appliance store. You’d likely recall seeing these small yellow signages on refrigerators indicating their energy efficiency.
- Buildings that will be constructed or will undergo renovations must comply with energy-conserving design. At least one percent of its total power demand must be generated via renewable sources. A popular choice here is use of solar panels, in tandem with an energy monitoring system that helps measure energy use.
RA 11285 reads ““It is hereby declared the policy of the State to institutionalize energy efficiency and conservation as a national way of life geared towards the efficient and judicious utilization of energy by formulating, developing and implementing energy and conservation plans and programs.” The goals of the State in the context of energy-conservation is crystal clear. Compliance may take time and adjustment, but will surely be for the benefit of businesses and of the environment.