How two cities in Metro Manila are accelerating energy efficiency

In Metro Manila year round, the average high temperature never drops below 30°C, and cooling is a significant part of the energy bill for families, businesses and municipal governments across the region. But by setting the thermostat to 25°C, rather than 23°C, an average family can save PHP 1,800 (nearly 40 USD) per year.  That’s just one of the tips that residents can find on the ACCELERATE platform, an online one-stop-shop for information and resources on energy efficiency and conservation in the Philippines.

The platform was developed as part of the ACCELERATE project which aims to strengthen sustainable consumption and production of energy use in Pasig and Parañaque City, two of the sixteen cities that are part of Metro Manila.  The project aims to inspire action from the private sector and local communities while enhancing implementation of the Philippine Green Building Code and Energy Efficiency and Conservation Law across the board.

The ACCELERATE platform has information that is especially tailored to raise awareness and provide information on energy efficiency and conservation for residents, businesses and local governments across the Philippines. 

“Community awareness and participation is one of the most important factors that determines the success of any energy efficiency and conservation program or project,” said Pinky A. Villadolid, an architect with the Pasig City Planning and Development Office. The ACCELERATE project developed fun and accessible ways for residents to learn more about energy efficiency, such as the comic book Chuchay Learns to Save Energy.

City staff who participated in the project said that this focus on energy education and the impact that can be achieved through awareness raising was a key learning. Communities need “to be aware of the cons of their current energy usage and the pros of energy conservation measures,” said Teresa Quiogue, Supervising Environmental Management Specialist at the Environment and Natural Resources Office of Parañaque City. 

Quiogue also emphasized the importance of capacity building for city staff in order to improve energy efficiency and conservation. “Working with ICLEI on this project has greatly helped the city enhance the knowledge of its personnel regarding energy assessments and energy auditing. It also helped us to realize the need to strengthen our focus on inspections, and encourage every establishment to take cost reductive and energy conservation measures.” 

These capacity building and awareness raising efforts have laid the foundation for continued improvements in energy efficiency and conservation in cities across the Philippines.

Increased knowledge and capacity at the local level can be used to develop future projects, and the ACCELERATE platform will continue to inform Filipinos about steps they can take to cut costs and improve their energy efficiency.

Quiogue also encouraged her peers in local government to increase their focus on energy conservation efforts. “They might not experience massive change or benefits right away, but in the long run, it will be all worth it.”

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