July 20, 2011
Paul Anthony A. Isla
Switching off appliances when not in use, among other small energy conservation measures, could reduce the country's annual power consumption by 10 percent and result in savings that could go up to of P59 billion a year.
Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras mentioned the estimated savings at the sidelines of the Second Philippine Energy Efficiency Forum organized by the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) on Tuesday.
Consumers can contribute little things such as switching to more efficient bulbsor switching off electronics and appliances when not in use, he said.
Almendras said the Department of Energy will ask Congress to make energy conservation mandatory by passing a law on this.
"We're trying to set standards, and the best way to do this is by legislating it. You want to reward people who try to become energy-efficient companies that help save money or to the new technologies that are more efficient than the old ones In the same breath, you also want to punish those that are not energy efficient," Almendras said.
Almendras said that with energy conservation, Luzon could save 2,000 megawatts (MW), the Visayas around 500 MW and Mindanao around 400 MW and effectively solve its power requirements by 2013.
"We have been appealing to all Filipinos to shift to a more sustainable lifestyle through practical and energy-efficient ways of living. Simple examples include switching to light emitting diodes (LED) lights," he said.
The government, he said aims to save theequivalent of 23 million barrels of fuel oil and to avoid carbon-dioxide emissions of 5 gigagrams.
But all this depends on the active involvement of the private sector, Almendras said, adding there is still a lot of room to implement energy efficiency with various policies and programs.
"But with limited financial and technical resources to address the competing priorities of development, we need ways on how to quickly assess options made available from the world's best practices and experiences," Almendras said.
He noted there were lots of second-hand appliances in the market and cautioned consumers against buying these just because they are cheaper, adding that such appliances may consume more energy in the long term.
Source: Business Mirror; News; 20 July 2011