USAID works with Iloilo City, MORE Power on local energy plan

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has partnered with the Iloilo City Government and MORE Electric and Power Corp. in coming up with a Local Energy Plan.

USAID allocated US$50,000 for the program, which will provide technical and financial support to Iloilo City as the pilot city for the Energy Secure Philippines (ESP) Initiative.

The USAID coordinated with the RT International Research Institute, which will provide the technical know-how and support in developing a modern facility to its pilot distribution utility which is MORE Power.

The initiative is timely as Iloilo City lacks an office that monitors Energy Consumption and Energy Conservation, which is supposedly the main objective of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act or Republic Act No. 11285.

The law mandates the Local Government Units for its implementation.

According to Engr. Noel Hechanova, Executive Assistant for Environment of Iloilo City, they started creating the plan in 2004 but this was never completed.

The city initially started its renewable energy and energy conservation initiatives like giving discounts on real property taxes to encourage businessmen and consumers, but very few availed of it.

The USAID will guide the local government and various stakeholders through a series of workshops in crafting long-term energy conservation plans, creating an Energy Efficiency Conservation Office, Local Energy Plan, Ordinance for the Local Energy Code, and EVOSS or Energy Virtual One Stop Shop, which will provide the energy-based online situation of business and investment promotions of the City Government.

“In the first place, ang partnership naton with MORE is important to reduce yung rate. We cooperate, we bring down the cost, we bring down the system loss. If we reduce that through energy efficiency nga mga programs, then it would benefit the city kag mga constituents namon kag mga konsumidor. Then we have to cooperate on energy efficiency and advocacy bangud kinahanglan namon ang other partners to help us promote this agud ma reduce ang greenhouse gases emission naton,” Hechanova said.

According to Engr. Niel Ravena, acting department head of Iloilo City Environment and Natural Resources, it is important to have data on power supply in Iloilo City to cater to the needs of incoming investors.

“It is very hard for the city kung kulang imo nga supply, with the promotion sang atun very aggressive nga mayor sa atun nga investors, dapat ready ang energy source ta kag ang distribution utility para mag accommodate sa masulod nga investors,” Ravena said.

“Very vital gid ang papel sang MORE in this endeavor kay ti sila ang distribution utility company nga naga serve diri sa City of Iloilo. So mayu gid kay naka start na kita sang partnership with MORE and USAID para maka jump off na ini nga mga projects”, Ravena added.

MORE Power assured its cooperation in providing the necessary information to the city on its load capacities and forecasting of demands.

The company will also take a huge role in the technical working group of the city government to hasten the crafting of the Local Energy Plan.

The group aims to complete the plan in five years.

This will then serve as the guide for investors who wish to expand their business in Iloilo City and for further plans for the city government in terms of development.

ENERGY SECURE PHILIPPINES

The USAID Energy Secure Philippines (ESP) Activity through its Energy Evolution Challenge grant facility seeks applications to fund, in the form of grants, qualified organizations/companies to support an energy service company (ESCO) who has a partner local government unit (LGU) to design and implement an energy efficiency and conservation (EEC) project that can become a practical guide for scaling up and replicating EEC initiatives in LGUs.

LGUs are prime movers in the promotion and implementation of the Philippine EEC Act (RA 11285) and in integrating EEC efforts in the Local Development Plans and Local Energy Plans.

These contribute to improving municipal services and increased local energy resilience and sustainability.

The grant will be implemented in two phases. First phase involves the preparation or enhancement of the LGU’s Local Energy Plan under which the Local EEC plan is expected to be articulated.

This phase will help identify appropriate energy efficiency interventions as well as innovative financing mechanisms and procurement methods. Under the LEC, the EEC initiative is also anticipated to become or form part of a local ordinance that will serve as a long-term blueprint to guide future EEC efforts of the LGU.

The EEC plans will then be implemented in the second phase of the project.

In the second phase, the ESCO grantee in partnership with the LGU, will execute an EEC transition program. Efforts may include retrofitting or replacing inefficient equipment with more efficient ones, developing systems, building capacity, and other interventions that are geared towards reducing energy consumption in business operations and communities.

To be able to undertake these activities, the grantee must collaborate with the electric distribution utility operating within the LGU and build private-public partnerships.

The partnership grant will be awarded in combination with technical assistance, training, and/or other inputs from the ESP team geared towards achievement of specific objectives that respond to expressed local needs in and contributes to achievement of stated expected results of USAID ESP.

The grant will also involve integration with related activities stated in plans of USAID ESP and its partner subcontractors. This will particularly include the activities of the Philippine League of Local Environment and Natural Resources Officers (PLLENRO) on Local Energy Code formulation and adoption, Local Energy Planning, and preparation of Local Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plan.

The issuance of this RFA does not constitute an award, a commitment on the part of RTI or USAID, nor does it commit to pay for costs incurred in the submission of an application. In addition, this RFA is not intended to replace any current or future funding agreements organizations may have with any government agency. (With data from www.usaid.gov)

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