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DoE exploring energy efficiency initiatives in remote areas

doe exploring energy efficiency initiatives in remote areas 816x445 - DoE exploring energy efficiency initiatives in remote areas

THE Department of Energy (DoE) is seeking to promote energy efficiency investment in remote areas, specifically for agriculture and the so-called “last mile” of power service delivery to rural communities.

The new initiative hopes to achieve the full implementation of Republic Act No. 11285, or the Energy Efficiency and Conservation (EEC) Act.

“The DoE has been looking into the last-mile access projects for electricity and we have been engaging with the agriculture pre- and post-harvest facilities that are RE (renewable energy) own-use and are very energy efficient,” Energy Undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella revealed in a recent webinar.

“We are now in the process of expanding our coverage of putting up energy efficient systems even in remote schools and health facilities,” he added.

Republic Act No. 11285, or the Energy Efficiency and Conservation (EEC) Act was passed last year and is in the process of being implemented, according to the department’s Energy Utilization Management Bureau.

“We are aggressively working on the policy issuances and regulations outlined in the EEC Act to mobilize investment,” Patrick T. Aquino, the bureau’s director, told BusinessWorld.

Last month, the DoE passed its guidelines for the certification of energy service companies, or entities that aid in creating energy efficiency projects.

The department has yet to issue its guidelines for EEC developers seeking endorsement for tax incentives from the Board of Investments (BoI). The industry is in line for six years of tax breaks under the Omnibus Investment Code.

The DoE has not provided a target for EEC investment. Up to P97.1 billion could be lent by  domestic banks to local government units (LGUs) for their energy efficiency projects over the next decade, according to the Philippine Energy Efficiency Alliance, citing an Asian Development Bank study.

The amount can “bridge the capital gap of public-building air conditioning and lighting retrofits, public-building rooftop solar plants, water district pump efficiency improvements, and LGU-led LED street lighting projects,” said Alexander Ablaza, the group’s president, in a virtual forum organized by the DoE Friday.

The DoE with the European Union-Access to Sustainable Energy Program is conducting online discussions with various stakeholders to promote EEC development. — Adam J. Ang

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