Gov’t targets 10% energy savings

The Department of Energy (DOE) has called on national government agencies and local government units to observe energy efficiency and conservation in their respective offices by cutting fuel and electricity consumption by at least 10 percent.

DOE Energy Utilization Management Bureau director Patrick Aquino said they have observed lower electricity consumption in government offices, particularly during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period as alternative work arrangements were implemented.

“Government agencies that are non-front-liners have seen a decline in their energy consumption. They are able to attain the mandated 10% reduction under the Bayanihan to Heal as One,” Aquino said during the recent virtual Luzon Energy Efficiency and Conservation Forum for Local Development. 

The Bayanihan 2 Act orders government offices to conserve and regulate the distribution and use of power, fuel, energy, and water, to ensure adequate supply amid the pandemic.

It was noted, however, that there was an increase in fuel consumption in government offices as their vehicles were making more trips to observe social distancing requirements in servicing front-liners and employees, Aquino said, noting that “in terms of peso impact, since we are also at a regime of lower fuel prices, it more or less offset it”

He said there is no “one size fits all in terms of energy consumption” in government offices. Hospitals, for instance use more electricity and fuel amid the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“With what we’ve seen is government offices and agencies, since we’ve adopted a skeleton workforces and work-from-home scheme, however, complying with the 10% reduction is attainable in the electricity side,” Aquino said. He urged NGAs and LGUs to invest in energy efficiency and conservation.

Citing DOE’s investments on energy efficiency and conservation, Aquino said the department spent P2.35 million on 2,181 linear and compact fluorescent lamps. 

This investment has a payback time of 2.82 years in terms of electric consumption savings, he said. 

For air conditioning systems, the DOE spent P22.43 million to replace its 223 non-inverter type units. Although payback time is longer at 4.61 years, yearly savings is around P4.81 million or 405,844.32 kilowatt-hours of consumption, the DOE official said. (With PNA)

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