By Lenie Lectura, January 22, 2020; Business Mirror

The Department of Energy (DOE) has organized a committee tasked to evaluate and approve government energy efficiency projects.

Aside from its main task, the Inter-Agency Energy Efficiency and Conservation Committee (IAEECC) will provide strategic direction in the implementation of the Government Energy Management Program (GEMP).

Department Order 2020-1-1 designates the secretary of the DOE as the chairman of the committee. “Section 5D of the EEC Act states that the DOE shall lead efforts to ensure compliance with the GEMP in accordance with the strategic direction provided by the Inter-Agency EEC,” it stated.

Specifically, the DOE will plan, develop, implement and monitor management policies, and other related energy efficiency and conservation plans and programs.

Meanwhile, the secretaries of the Departments of Budget and Management; Finance; Trade and Industry; Transportation; Science and Technology; the Interior and Local Government; Public Works and Highways; and the director general of the National Economic and Development Authority will sit as committee members.

President Duterte has signed the Energy Efficiency and Conservation (EEC) law, which basically institutionalize energy conservation in the country, in April last year.

Among others, the committee will prepare an annual assessment of opportunities for energy cost reduction in state-owned and leased buildings and facilities designated by the committee.

The committee will also review all proposed capital projects and energy cost operating budgets of agencies, and recommend energy conservation measures to reduce operating costs.

Every year, the committee will recommend specific operations and maintenance procedure modifications, and capital projects for state-owned leased buildings and facilities to reduce energy consumption.

Surveys, audits, technical analysis and other investigations related to government energy efficiency projects, and the GEMP will be conducted.

Thereafter, a report on the status of government energy efficiency projects and the GEMP must be submitted. The report must also identify obstacles to building energy efficiency improvement together with recommendations.

Funding will be sourced from the DOE’s 2020 funds. The committee members will convene once every quarter.

Republic Act 11285, or the EEC Act, aims to institutionalize energy efficiency and conservation, enhance the efficient use of energy, and grant incentives to energy efficiency and conservation projects and programs.