MANILA -- A party-list lawmaker on Monday stressed the need for an energy conservation roadmap that would ensure the efficient utilization of energy and ensure that its use will promote sustainable development.
In a statement, 1-Care Rep. Carlos Roman Uybarreta said House Bill 8629 lays down the legal authority for implementing the 2017-2040 National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plan. The measure has hurdled final reading at the House of Representatives.
Uybarreta said once the energy conservation bill is enacted into law, it will provide the policy bases and legal mandates for energy efficiency and conservation by all sectors of Philippine society.
The lawmaker said the energy conservation roadmap forecasts energy demand rising by 80 percent from 2017 to 2040 at an annual rate of 3.5 percent, hence the need for the judicious conservation of energy resources to minimize their adverse impacts on the environment.
"A three percent reduction in energy intensity across key economic sectors will cushion the adverse impact on the environment and household finances. That is what the roadmap seeks to achieve," Uybarreta said.
"Without this legal framework, the green architecture of industry and government, as well as the environment-friendly habits of households and communities over the next decades will not happen. This is the law that will set in motion all of that modern future of our country," he added.
It seeks to mandate the Department of Energy (DOE) to lead the development and implementation of plans and programs to secure the stability and sufficiency of energy supply in the country, which shall cushion the impact of the high price of imported fuels to local markets.
Thus, the DOE shall undertake the following functions: (a) update the development of the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plan (NEECP) and monitor its implementation; (b) initiate and maintain collaborative efforts with the business sector to ensure their compliance; (c) support local government units (LGUs) in planning, promoting, and implementing the programs and in preparing their Local Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plans (LEECP); (d) develop a national awareness and advocacy campaign; and (e) provide annual reports to Congress on the status of the implementation, among others.
Energy-efficient projects shall be included in the Strategic Investments Priorities Plan (SIPP) of the government during the 15 years from the approval of the measure. These programs shall also be entitled to receive a certificate from the Fiscal Incentives Review Board.
The project proponents shall be exempted from income taxes levied by the national government for the first six years of their commercial operations. Additional investments in these projects shall allow further income tax exemption.
In addition, establishments implementing these programs shall also be entitled to the following incentives: (a) awards and recognition for energy efficiency and conservation best practices, innovation and successful energy-efficient projects and products, and (b) technical assistance from government agencies in the development and promotion of energy-efficient technologies.
The DOE shall also be mandated to develop and enforce a Mandatory Energy Efficiency Rating and Labeling (MEERL) for energy-consuming products to help consumers in choosing energy efficient appliances and raise public awareness on energy conservation.
The DOE, with the assistance of the Energy Regulatory Commission, shall also pursue a Demand Side Management (DSM) Program for the electric power industry to reduce energy consumption through effective load management. (PNA)
Photo from Pilipino Mirror