By Rjay Zuriaga Castor
The provincial government of Iloilo received the highest energy audit rating of Grade A (5-Stars) after demonstrating almost 100% compliance with the Government Energy Management Program (GEMP).
The rating comes after the Department of Energy (DOE) conducted a series of energy audit spot checks in September and October of this year to assess the government agency’s adherence to mandatory energy efficiency and conservation programs.
The GEMP is a declared policy of the government to reduce the government’s electricity and fuel consumption by at least 10% via efficiency and conservation strategies as well as the use of renewable energy.
Under the GEMP, the DOE gives each government entity a score based on applicable parameters and compliance percentage through a star rating with one being the lowest and five as the highest.
An on-site GEMP energy audit across all facilities of the provincial government was conducted from September 25 to 27 with assistance from the USAID Energy Secure Philippines (ESP) Activity.
The audit encompassed various facilities, including the provincial government’s equipment pool in Santa Barbara, Agri-Aqua Research and Technology (ART) Center and Iloilo Provincial Hospital in Pototan, Plant Nursery, Iloilo Sports Complex, and the 12 District Hospitals.
Another round of spot checks was conducted on October 12 where a representative from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Public Sector Management Division of the Energy Utilization Management Bureau (EPSMD-EUMB) of the DOE.
The provincial government received the 5-star rating following another round of online validation process by the EPSMD-EUMB on October 17.
It is worth noting that Iloilo was the first province in the country to pass an ordinance geared toward transitioning to renewable energy.
In October last year, the Provincial Board approved the ordinance, which aligns with Republic Act 9513, also known as the Renewable Energy Act.
“What we want is that we do our share in using renewable energy. It is also our way of developing it since renewable energy is still a developing source in the province. It is our way of welcoming it. We are starting with the facilities of the province, our hospitals and we are exploring it,” said Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor.
The provincial hospital currently uses renewable energy through a 75-kilowatt (kW) rooftop solar photovoltaic system. In the 2023 provincial budget, P30 million has been allocated to foster the advancement of renewable energy sources. Specifically, three public hospitals have been identified for the rooftop photovoltaic installation.
The provincial government is also shortlisted for the 2023 Energy Efficiency Excellence Awards by the DOE, with the winners set to be announced in December this year.