Buildings now required to house RE facilities

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New and existing buildings are now required to house renewable energy (RE) technologies, based on a circular from the Department of Energy (DOE).

Solar photovoltaic (PV), wind power supply systems, solar water heaters, solar air conditioners, and solar-powered lightning systems are just some of the RE technologies that developers can use under DOE Department Circular 2020-12-0026, signed in December 2020 and to take effect on March 6.

The circular aims to promote the energy efficiency of buildings in compliance with Republic Act 11285 or the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act.

Among those buildings covered are those with electrical loads of at least 112.5 kilovolt-ampere (kVa) or with a total gross floor area of at least 10,000 square meters. Building owners can also either partially or fully source their energy requirement from the RE power supply system.

“Covered buildings shall source, initially, a minimum of [one] percent of their projected annual energy requirements,” the circular read.

Once satisfying their own energy requirements, building owners are also allowed to sell the excess RE capacity of up to 100 kilowatts to the local power utility.

In a report by the Philippine News Agency, DOE Energy Utilization Management Bureau Director Patrick Aquino said that the agency plans to impose penalties on developers who don’t comply with the guidelines. The circular currently does not indicate any fine for non-compliant buildings.

Aquino added that the guidelines would also be integrated into the Philippine Green Building Code.

The circular and its guidelines shall be updated every three years or earlier as needed, taking into consideration the rate of advancement in energy efficient technologies and practices.

“Transforming EE&C into a national way of life is a concerted effort. We want our future infrastructure to be resilient and energy efficient. To achieve this vision, we must start to develop a culture that integrates these principles even in the early design stages,” Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi said in a statement.

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