By Vanni de Sequera
Before 2018, the idea of national energy conservation in the Philippines was mostly a vague coalition of individual household ideals, the ambition of some progressive companies, and a series of futile policy statements from government departments. Republic Act 11285—short-titled, “The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act”—changed everything once it passed into law.
With the endorsement of the Senate and House of Representatives, compliance became mandatory. Where once the Department of Energy (DOE) had hoped incentivizing cooperation from property owners might lead to greener practices, it now had RA 11285’s teeth to enforce regulations and guidelines upon pain of legal sanction.
In short, the legislature had institutionalized energy efficiency by making it a binding corporate obligation.
RA 11285 Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act
At over 7000-words long, RA 11285 can come across as somewhat daunting. Principally, it establishes the framework so much needed in the Philippines to encourage “a national way of life geared towards the efficient and judicious utilization of energy by formulating, developing, and implementing energy efficiency and conservation plans.”
In “Chapter V: Energy Performance Standards and Labeling Requirements,” the DOE reserves the right to prescribe energy labels for all energy-consuming products, devices, and equipment.
To put it simply, energy ratings for consumer products must be clearly tagged so that consumers are given an informed choice. Today, this is standard because it is law.
The scope of RA 11285 is broad, covering consumer products, vehicles, and buildings. There is also a tiered classification of businesses and establishments, depending on how many kilowatts are allowably consumed. Companies are now obliged to send to the DOE their power-consumption report if they exceed the allocated amount of power consumed.
The penalties and criminal liability for non-compliance are harsh:
- Administrative penalties of the violation of any of this law’s provisions of up to PHP 1,000,000.
- Criminal penalties for up to five years imprisonment for any responsible officers or employees upon conviction.
- Fine of up to PHP 100,000,000 “or twice the amount of costs avoided for noncompliance, whichever is higher, or both, upon the discretion of the court”.
The severity of RA 11285 may be off-putting to companies who genuinely wish to comply, but it comes from a good place—strict energy audits are necessary to ensure a more power-efficient future.
Gearing up for compliance
Conforming to all the recommendations may often seem like an impossible task, even for the most well-intentioned property managers, but there are ways to automate your adherence, not just for the sake of avoiding punitive measures but to, well, do the right thing.
The Internet of Things (IoT) can technologize your property’s power monitoring, systemize the data you dispatch to the DOE in a verifiable manner, optimize your indoor-climate control parameters to the highest quotient, and provide you with property visibility that both heeds the law and consummates your greater, greener goals. IoT’s relevant technology, already present in the Philippines, smartly supports the DOE’s energy conservation program.