THE Department of Energy (DoE) released the draft rules for the accreditation of energy service companies (ESCOs), which will help bring about greater efficiency and conservation in the energy industry.

The guidelines comply with a provision in the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 11285, or the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act.

Among other provisions, the law instructs the DoE to strengthen the current ESCO certification system.

The IRR, issued in November, ordered the department to draft guidelines for the certification requirements, review and evaluation process, and classification of ESCOs.

ESCOs are defined by law as offering “multi-technology services and goods towards developing and designing energy efficiency projects, delivering and guaranteeing energy savings, and ensuring cost-effective and optimal performance.”

The proposed rules state that ESCOs, which can be classified as either registered or certified, will have to undergo technical and legal evaluations as part of the accreditation process.

Certified ESCOs will also have to be evaluated for their financial capacity, and are required to submit financial statements as part of their applications.

Accredited firms may also be required to submit reports on their on-going and completed projects on April 30 of each year.

The draft rules were drawn up by a committee led by the DoE’s Energy Utilization Management Bureau. This panel consists of division chiefs of the department’s general legal services, power compliance, and energy efficiency and conservation division, along with the section head of the energy management advisory service sector.

The DoE is currently soliciting comments on the draft rules until April 30. — Adam J. Ang