PEZA expands energy audit coverage

By Louella D. Desiderio, The Philippine Star

Posted at Aug 15 2014 07:50 AM | Updated as of Aug 15 2014 03:50 PM

MANILA - The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) is expanding the coverage of a program involving energy audit and reduction in energy consumption to include information technology - business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) firms amid the country’s power supply problem.

Speaking at the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) CEO Forum on Energy Efficiency held Tuesday, PEZA director general Lilia De Lima said the agency plans to expand the coverage of an energy savings program being implemented with the ECCP which involves the conduct of energy audits of companies as well as reduction in energy consumption and making investments in energy efficiency.

In particular, the PEZA intends to expand the program’s implementation by covering IT-BPO firms as well.

The program, which started in 2012, initially covered manufacturing firms in PEZA economic zones.

“We will do this in almost all economic zones.

After manufacturing firms, we will do it with BPOs,” De Lima said.

She noted that firms which participated in the program have saved 20-to 30-percent in power costs.

Apart from expanding the coverage of the energy audit and savings program, she said the agency is also looking at another power cost reduction measure by assisting locators in the aggregation of power demand in private economic zones to be able to negotiate for lower rates.

“This means that we will put together all the requirements of the locators in specific economic zones and assist them in negotiating with our generators to get good rates. They have more leverage if they are offering to get bigger power demands,” she said.

In the past, the PEZA also implemented an ecozone special power rate program wherein industries with high load factor and an average monthly consumption of one megawatt are given special generation rates as they are more efficient, and therefore, entitled to a more cost-effective rate which is reflective of their consumption pattern.

De Lima said tPEZA is pushing for energy efficiency in line with its aim to attract more firms to invest in the country.

“PEZA is resolute in improving energy efficiency in order to bring down cost of power which remains as our biggest stumbling block in attracting FDI (foreign direct investments) to the country,” she said.

Given the country’s power supply problem, she said it is important for both government and the private sector to work together.

ECCP vice president for external affairs Henry Schumacher said it is time for both government and the private sector to look at energy efficiency measures now until the first quarter of next year given the expected reserve deficiency in 2015.

“The easiest and fastest way is through energy savings and energy efficiency,” he said.