DOE warns: Energy-saving devices don't save energy

By Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 11 2015 05:17 PM | Updated as of Aug 12 2015 01:17 AM

MANILA - The Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a warning to the public not to buy so-called "energy-saving devices" being sold in the market today.

The DOE obtained samples of the devices sold in various hardware stores in malls sold between P1,000 to P2,000 per piece.

DOE's science research specialists tested the devices including those brought by Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), also from the market. Based on their findings, while there is indeed a reduction in amperes or the current that flows, the wattage, which is translatable to the electricity bill, is not changed using the supposed energy-saving device.

"Bababa ang current subalit 'yung wattage hindi kaya, parang naloloko tayo," said Isagani Soriano, supervising science research specialist of the DOE.

For her part, DOE officer-in-charge (OIC) Secretary Zenaida Monsada said consumer must look for the energy-efficiency rating (EER), the yellow sticker on certain appliances like refrigerators and air conditioning units.

The higher the EER, the more efficient the appliance.

Monsada said consumers must be wise in order to save on electricity consumption and not just rely on the so-called energy- saving devices. But the question is: if these gadgets do not save on energy consumption and are duping consumers, why are they still on the shelves sold in legitimate stores?

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it has no basis yet to recall the energy-saving devices sold in malls despite findings by the DOE and Meralco that these do not help consumers save on their electricity consumption.

Trade Undersecretary Vic Dimagiba said there are Philippine National Standards (PNS) for energy-saving devices and the tests should be based on the standards.

Based on the PNS, "the measured energy saving shall be equal to or greater than the manufacturing claim," and an average of 3 measurements should be recorded. These products should also have markings that indicate the claimed energy savings in percentage, origin, model number or type reference and rated voltage, frequency and current.

The DOE has not yet responded whether it based its testing on the PNS 2080.

Dimagiba added that if it is based there, the DOE should forward the results to the DTI and the agency will ask manufacturers or importers or distributors to explain.

Dimagiba said the DTI may then issue a recall for the concerned products but only after hearings are conducted.