EU-funded ASEP-CELLs celebrates successes of sustainable energy initiatives

(in photo above) Representatives from the consortium members and stakeholders during the ASEP-CELLs project closing event.

The European Union (EU) funded Access to Sustainable Energy Programme – Clean Energy Living Laboratories (ASEP-CELLs), implemented by the Ateneo School of Government, Manila Observatory, ICLEI Southeast Asia Secretariat (ICLEI SEAS), Xavier University and University of San Carlos, formally closed in a virtual event on 22 April 2022. 

The event highlighted the successes, innovations used, and key lessons from implementing the project as it assisted the Philippine government in expanding sustainable energy generation through energy efficiency and conservation (EEC), renewable energy (RE), and energy access (EA).  

EU Delegation to the Philippines Head of Cooperation Christoph Wagner and Ateneo De Manila University President Roberto Yap, S.J. graced the closing event and lauded the implementers for completing the project.  

The consortium behind ASEP-CELLs produced research and technical studies on energy security, energy efficiency, and renewable energy; conducted fora and webinars; and engaged diverse stakeholders encompassing the academe, local and national governments, media, civil society, and private companies to promote best practices, policies, and research relating to the ASEP-CELLs agenda.  

LEECP Guidebook for Local Governments 

The project closing also served as a platform for ICLEI SEAS to officially turn over the Local Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plan (LEECP) Guidebook to the Department of Energy – Energy Utilization and Management Bureau (DOE EUMB) headed by Director Patrick Aquino. The LEECP Guidebook serves as reference for local governments to formulate and assess their energy efficiency and conservation strategies and comply with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act which aims to reduce energy use and promote efficient use of energy.  

ICLEI SEAS turned over the Local Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plan Guidebook and Primer and Government Energy Management Program brochure to the DOE EUMB on 20 April 2022. In photo are (from left to right) ICLEI SEAS Senior Project Officer Alfredo Bernarte, Jr.; ICLEI SEAS Project Officer Anna Dominique Ortiz; Department of Energy – Energy Utilization and Management Bureau Directo Patrick Aquino; DOE EPSMD Chief Lana Manaligod; and Senior Science Research Specialist Andre Luise Reyes.

“We are extremely grateful for the LEECP Guidebook. The LGU plays a crucial role as we strive to secure sufficiency and stability of our energy supply, cushion the impact of high prices of imported fuels, and protect the environment in support of the economic and social development goals of the country”, stated Director Aquino. 

Prior to the virtual turn over, ICLEI SEAS paid a visit to the DOE EUMB on 20 April to provide hard copies of the LEECP Guidebook, LEECP primer, and Government Energy Management Program (GEMP) brochure; discuss the local governments’ challenges on the GEMP; and present potential avenues for cooperation on localizing EEC.  

Meanwhile, the DOE EUMB expressed interest to disseminate and make use of the knowledge products produced by ICLEI SEAS through ASEP-CELLs. Soft copies were earlier provided to enable DOE to update and incorporate government issuances and programs in the knowledge products. 

In the course of project implementation, ICLEI SEAS focused on capacitating and empowering local governments to amplify and localize the EEC Act of 2019. ICLEI SEAS also connected them to potential partners and other stakeholders that could provide assistance in realizing EE and RE projects. Some of the activities included workshops on formulating and assessing the LEECP; developing energy transition project proposals; and fora on EEC policies, programs and financing modalities. These enabled ICLEI SEAS partner local governments in ASEP-CELLs to develop their own LEECP and establish teams who will oversee the implementation and monitoring of EEC strategies and GEMP compliance.  

Although ASEP-CELLs ended in April 2022, ICLEI SEAS will continue to promote EEC, foster linkages, provide assistance to its partner LGUs, and cooperate with the national government. “Rest assured that ICLEI SEAS will continue to support LGUs towards a just and sustainable clean energy transition,” said ICLEI SEAS Regional Director Victorino Aquitania during the ASEP-CELLs closing event. 

As proof of its continuing commitment to EEC beyond the project timeline, ICLEI SEAS on 5 May 2022 provided DOE EUMB a documentation outlining the situation and challenges faced by local governments regarding the GEMP, as well as recommendations that could help local governments comply with the requirements. 

The consortium has expressed interest to implement a sustainability fund to continue and sustain the accomplishments of ASEP-CELLs. Likewise, ICLEI SEAS remains actively looking for partners to support its local government network in promoting sustainable policies and programs.  

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