Energy Act compels building owners to monitor power usage

Building owners and developers will reap more value from their assets from the enactment of the Energy Efficiency & Conservation (EE&C) Act of 2019, which requires them to monitor usage, set reduction targets and use renewable energy, according to a property expert. 

Leechiu Property Consultants (LPC) executive director Lylah Ledonio said the new law is seen to usher in marked improvements in the usage of power of building owners.  

“This law encourages landlords to refresh their mindset and improve their power usage,” said Ledonio, who also chairs the Real Estate Committee of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP). 

The law covers those who annually use at least 100,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh).  

Being bigger power users, landlords would also likely reap more benefits in implementing energy efficiency measures in terms of savings and better value from their property, Ledonio said.  

Philippine Energy Efficiency Alliance president Alexander Ablaza said several studies have shown that improvements in a commercial building’s energy usage can mean an increase in its rental rates from two to five percent, a reduction in tenant turnover and an average increase of more than 10 percent in its property value. 

Under the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Guidelines on Energy Conserving Design of Buildings—which took effect just last March, these big power users are required to use renewable energy, such as solar powered systems for lighting, heating water, cooling and the like, for at least one percent of their projected annual consumption. 

Meanwhile, DOE-Energy Utilization Management Bureau (EUMB) director Patrick Aquino said big energy users—such as buildings classified as designated establishments—are now also required to monitor monthly consumption, set and achieve annual reduction targets which will then be verified through an energy audit to be submitted to the DOE every three years.