Department of Energy’s Department Circular (DC) 2020-12-0026 (Adoption of the Guidelines on Energy Conserving Design of Building)

The Department of Energy advocates efforts that further advance the Philippine’s energy efficiency and conservation agenda, and has made official its policy that provides the guidelines on energy conserving design of local structures. The Department of Energy’s new policy helps develop a culture that integrates energy efficiency and conservation principles in the early stages of building design, to help create resilient and energy efficient infrastructure in the future.

What the department circular means for building owners

Signed on 22 December 2020, Department Circular (DC) DC2020-12-0026, or the “Adoption of the Guidelines on Energy Conserving Design of Buildings” implements the mandate on the minimum standards on energy efficient building design under the “Implementing Rules and Regulations” section of the Republic Act 11285, or the Energy Efficiency and Conservation act.

The buildings that are covered in the department circular in particular are those with electrical loads of 112.5 kilovolt-ampere (kVa), or those that have a total gross area of at least 10,000 square meters.

The department circular requires use of solar photovoltaic, or solar panels, and other renewable energy technologies on new and existing buildings within its coverage. Other technology options that can be used are wind power supply systems, solar weather heaters, solar air conditioners, and solar-powered lighting systems that will reduce demand for commercial power.

While the department circular did not indicate fines for non-compliant buildings, owners are welcomed to source their energy requirements from renewable energy power supply systems either partially or in full. Building owners are allowed to sell their surplus renewable energy to local power units at 100 kilowatts at the maximum, though this amount may be raised by the Energy Regulatory Commission in the future.

Taking into account agile developments and innovations both on technology and energy efficiency practices, the department circular and its guidelines will be updated every three years or earlier. The law took effect last March 6, 2021, 15 days after being published in major dailies.

Long term impact

Transforming energy efficiency and conservation into a national way of life is a concerted effort, and strategic developments like this new department circular is geared towards that long term goal. The thought of a Philippines’ that has significantly lower carbon footprint, and a high-level of self-sufficiency with its energy requirements is something worth pouring effort and resources into.

 Renewable Energy And Extra Revenue  

Aside from getting to enjoy lower electric bills for the long term, investing in renewable energy machinery can bring in some extra revenue because building owners are welcome to are allowed to sell their surplus or unused energy to local power units at 100 kilowatts maximum.  The sellable amount may be raised by the Energy Regulatory Commission in the future.

Solution To Real World Problems

Given the rising prices of oil and fossil fuels, the deteriorating condition of the environment, and global warming, the Philippines will have much to gain from adopting energy efficiency practices in as much aspects of life as we can.

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