Councilor mulls Iloilo City energy code

Iloilo City Councilor Romel Duron is pushing for a code that will promote energy efficiency and ensure a sustainable and affordable electricity supply in the city. (Rjay Zuriaga Castor photo)

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor

A city councilor is pushing to promote energy efficiency and ensure a sustainable and affordable electricity supply in the city through the development of a local energy code.

City Councilor Romel Duron, chairperson of the committee on energy and public utilities of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, is set to present a draft of the local energy code of the city on Wednesday next week.

Actually since 2018 pa ini [and] medyo na delay na kita sini… Kung updan kita sang konseho, ipasar ta gid ini,” Duron told the Daily Guardian.

“We are being mandated by the national government to pass an energy code. This is to promote energy efficiency and conservation and also to facilitate the implementation of energy projects, especially mga renewable energy,” he added.

Under Republic Act 11285, otherwise known as the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act, all provinces, cities, and municipalities are mandated to “[implement] energy efficiency and conservation plans and programs.”

Meanwhile, Republic Act No. 11234, or the Energy Virtual One-Stop Shop (EVOSS) Act passed in 2019, also mandates the creation of localized guidelines to streamline the processing of energy projects.

In the proposed energy code, an energy sector committee will be created to facilitate the implementation of energy projects. The city mayor will be the concurrent chairperson of the committee.

One of the committee’s primary responsibilities is to develop a Local Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plan (LEECP) that aligns with the city’s Local Climate Change Action Plan (LCCAP) 2014-2028.

An Energy Efficiency and Conservation Office will also be established which will operate under the committee’s supervision.

The energy code also directs the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) to conduct periodic assessments, roughly every three years, to determine the feasibility of conducting exploration and development for more energy sources.

Simultaneously, the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) is directed to incorporate the energy programs, policies, and projects into the city’s spatial plan and Comprehensive Development Plan.

A focal person in charge of managing Iloilo City’s EVOSS account will also be designated. This is to ensure the proper monitoring and updating of the city’s electronic documents in the process of issuing the necessary permits for energy-related projects.

Under the proposed energy code, the city government will likewise grant recognition and incentivize individuals and organizations exhibiting the best energy efficiency and conservation practices.

Duron underscored that encouraging and promoting the use of clean energy sources is one great step in combating environmental issues.

“Kung clean energy, siyempre sa environment natun may epekto gid […] Kung kada isa sa atun ma usar sang solar, mabuhinan ang aton dependence sa utilization sang aton fuel. Mareduce gid yah ang emission,” he added.

The city councilor furthered that the energy code will integrate the existing ordinances that endorsed the use of renewable energy. There are two existing ordinances in the city that encourage the utilization of clean energy sources in the local area

The city government has recently forged an agreement with the Energy Regulatory Commission and MORE Electric and Power Corporation to promote the use of Net-Metering and Distributed Energy Resources.

A renewable energy company is also currently conducting a feasibility study on installing wind turbine generators and substations in several villages in the city.