THE BIG 'SWITCH':  GOVT  TO  LAUNCH  MASSIVE  ENERGY  CONSERVATION  SCHEME
 
MANILA,
JULY 11, 2008 (STAR) By Donnabelle L. Gatdula - President Arroyo and officials of the Department of Energy, led by Secretary Angelo T. Reyes, will spearhead on July 16 a massive energy conservation scheme dubbed as the big “SWITCH” in Metro Manila.

The program involves switching light sources at city and town halls to energy-saving CFLs from incandescent bulbs.

According to Reyes, SWITCH is a strategic social mobilization for the energy sector. ”It is very timely in these times of soaring oil prices necessitating the conscientious use of energy.”

The DOE chief described SWITCH as the crystallization of a social mobilization plan arising from the Energy Summit held early this year after oil prices breached the $100-per-barrel level for the first time.

Reyes said the switch from incandescent to CFLs, which President Arroyo wants completed by 2009, will translate to huge fuel savings, citing a study by the Asian Development Bank.

“To illustrate the immense strategic effect of this simple switch, it is estimated that replacing a million 60-watt incandescent bulbs with equivalent 13-watt CFLs would be equivalent to savings of at least 50 MW in equivalent generation. This means that for $1.5 million worth of CFLs, we can forego the installation of a power station worth at least $50 million. This cost-benefit analysis does not even include the substantial savings that homes, offices, factories, schools, hospitals and malls will realize and the significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions we can collectively achieve,” Reyes explained.

At the same time, CFLs are known to last five times longer than incandescent bulbs.

In all, SWITCH will focus on switching from inefficient to efficient energy practices ‑ starting with lighting in workplaces, buildings, homes and public places; petroleum-based fuels to alternative fuels and cleaner technologies in the transport sector; kerosene to renewable energy sources for lighting in remote rural areas that will be targeted for basic electrification; renewable power generation where feasible at the local level (wind, water power, etc.); and vestiges of centralized consultative energy planning to more participative bottom-up energy planning

The ceremonial switching of incandescent bulbs to CFLs will also involve the private sector, business, industry, non-governmental organizations, youth and the religious sector.

SWITCH is a social mobilization and information-education campaign to demonstrate how ordinary Filipinos can save power and help against climate change.

It aims to accelerate the adoption of best energy practices that are simple but strategic, and to lay the institutional framework to sustain such practices.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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