PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte signed into law last month an energy efficiency and conservation bill, officials said.

Republic Act No. 11285, which Mr. Duterte signed on April 12, will establish a framework for introducing and institutionalizing fundamental policies on energy efficiency and conservation, including the promotion of efficient and judicious utilization of energy, increased use of energy-efficiency and renewable-energy technologies, and the delineation of responsibilities among various government agencies and private entities.

The Palace released copies of the law to reporters Tuesday.

The Department of Energy (DoE), as the lead agency in the implementation of the RA, will be responsible for the planning, formulation, development, implementation, enforcement, and monitoring of energy management policies and other related energy efficiency and conservation plans and programs.

Under the law, all government agencies, including government-owned corporations, are directed to ensure the efficient use of energy in their respective offices, facilities, transportation units, and in the discharge of their functions.

The new law also creates an Inter-Agency Energy Efficiency and Conservation Committee (IAEECC), which will evaluate and approve government energy efficiency projects.

The committee will provide strategic direction in the implementation of the Government Energy Management Program (GEMP), which is intended to reduce the government’s monthly consumption of electricity and petroleum products through electricity efficiency and conservation, and efficiency and conservation in fuel use of government vehicles, among others.

The IAEECC will be composed of the Secretaries of the Departments of Energy; Budget and Management; Finance; Trade and Industry; Transportation; Science and Technology; Interior and Local Government; Public Works and Highways; and the Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority. The Energy Secretary will chair the committee.

The law also authorizes the DoE, in consultation with stakeholders, to develop a Minimum Energy Performance (MEP) standard for the commercial, industrial, and transport sectors, and energy-consuming products including appliances, lighting, electrical equipment, and machinery, among others.

The DoE is also tasked to prescribe labeling rules for all energy-consuming products, devices, and equipment.

“No manufacturer, importer, distributor, and retailer shall sell, lease, or import any energy-consuming product, unless the product complies with the MEP and the product or its package is labeled in accordance with this Act,” the law reads.

The DoE will develop and enforce a mandatory energy efficiency rating and labeling system for energy-consuming products, such as air- conditioners, refrigeration units, and television sets, to promote energy-efficient appliances and raise public awareness on energy saving.

The law also calls for fuel economy performance labeling requirements for vehicle manufacturers, importers, and dealers.

Local government units (LGUs) are tasked to implement the Guidelines on Energy Conserving Design on Buildings for the construction of new buildings.

Energy-efficiency projects, which include improvements, repairs, alterations, or upgrades to any building or facility, or any equipment, fixture, or furnishing, “shall be included in the annual investment priorities plan of the Board of Investments (BoI) and shall be entitled to the incentives provided under Executive Order No. 226, of the ‘Omnbibus Investments Code of 1987’, as amended, and any other applicable laws for 10 years from the effectivity of this Act.”

The law also provides for establishments that implement or are implementing energy efficiency projects to be entitled to “awards and recognition for innovations…” and “provision of technical assistance from government agencies in the development and promotion of energy efficient technologies.”

The DoE, in consultation with other agencies, LGUs, the commercial, industrial, and transport sectors, and other stakeholders, will promulgate the Implementing Rules and Regulations within six months from the effectivity of the law. — Arjay L. Balinbin