Energy Efficiency: Making It Work Nationwide


Implementing short-term strategies

One of the short-term strategies taken by the government was the promotion and implementation of energy efficiency initiatives.

Under the Philippine Energy Efficiency Project:

  • government office buildings, public parks, and traffic light systems were retrofitted with energy-efficient lighting systems
  • compact fluorescent lamps were distributed to residents nationwide
  • integrated building and industry efficiency rating standards were established
  • an energy service company was set up

Overcoming initial obstacles

Overcoming initial obstacles allowed for the reallocation of a significant portion of the $7.5 million budget earmarked for the energy service company creation to retrofitting additional government buildings. The balance was allocated to retrofitting public lighting and traffic lighting systems.

Focus on retrofitting

Retrofitting government office buildings with energy efficient lighting systems was the Philippine Energy Efficiency Project’s most successful component. The program initially aimed to upgrade the lighting systems in 40 government office buildings in order to contribute a 7,000 megawatt-hours reduction in energy demand and cut the government agencies’ electricity expense at least $1.7 million per year. Reduced energy demand was also expected to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 5,000 tons per year.

Lighting loads in buildings and residences account for about 30%–40% of the Philippines’ total electricity consumption. Office buildings built before 2000 were more likely to have fluorescent lamps with magnetic ballasts and, in most cases, incandescent bulbs with minimal use of natural lighting. Therefore, the Department of Energy raised the target to 135 government buildings,4 increasing energy savings and lowering emissions.

Retrofitting began in September 2012 and was completed in June 2013. Three key factors contributed to the successful implementation of the project: enabling government policies, an efficient project implementation plan, and availability of financial resources.

Components of the Philippine energy efficiency project


The views expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Asian Development Bank, its management, its Board of Directors, or its members.

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