Addressing Republic Act 11285: Energy-saving fan technology for increased efficiency

The Philippines government is intensifying efforts in energy conservation. This can be seen in the establishment of Republic Act (RA) 11285. To address the requirements, building owners and facility management are required to deploy energy-saving technologies in their buildings. We recommend retrofitting your HVAC systems with EC fan technology – here’s why.

What is Republic Act 11285? How does it impact the built environment industry in the Philippines?

Republic Act 11285, also known as the "Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act," is a law in the Philippines that aims to promote energy efficiency and conservation. This act will impact both the public and private sectors. Notably, the act will require the built environment industry to ensure buildings are optimised for energy performance. This will be managed and achieved through various strategies. RA 11285 was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on April 12, 2019, and took effect on May 11, 2019.   

Here’s a summary of the expectations of the built environment industry:

  • New buildings and existing buildings undergoing retrofits are required to adhere to minimum energy requirements
  • Designated establishments (establishments that exceed 500,000 kWH in annual energy consumption) are expected to implement…
    • Energy management system policy that is based on ISO50001
    • Record-keeping of energy-related data
    • Energy efficiency programs
    • Energy consumption reduction strategies that are aligned with targets established by the Department of Energy (DOE)
    • Annual evaluation of the aforementioned programs
  • Designated establishments are expected to submit…
    • Annual Energy Consumption and Conservation Report, which describes the establishments’ energy efficiency and conservation plans
      Annual Energy Utilization Report which covers the report of utilized energy for the fiscal year
    • Energy audit report that is conducted by an accredited energy service company once every 3 years
      • Relevant forms and submission procedures can be found on the DOE’s website

In order to fulfil the above requirements, designated establishments are expected to employ a Certified Energy Conservation Officer (CECO) or Certified Energy Manager (CEM). The DOE must also be updated on the employment status of these individuals.

For further details the above expectations, kindly refer to Republic Act 11285.

There are further guidelines for establishments that consume less than 500,000 kWH annually as well. For these, kindly refer to Memorandum Circular No. MC2020-05-0001.

What is the significance of Republic Act 11285 for the built environment industry?

The act is designed to help reduce the energy consumption of the various sectors in the Philippines. By adhering to the act, energy efficiency projects, as defined in the act, can stand to benefit from fiscal and non-fiscal incentives (e.g. awards). In addition, penalties will be imposed if the act is not adhered to. For further details on fiscal incentives, kindly refer to the DOE’s proposed circular on the topic.

Republic Act 11285 also means that implementing energy saving strategies for their buildings will be critical. To accomplish this, understanding how energy is consumed within a building is the first step.   

How is energy use distributed in a building? Which areas use the most energy?

Within a typical commercial building, electricity is used to power HVAC systems, lighting, plug loads, water heating and more. A global study [1] also found that within buildings, HVAC systems account for 38% of buildings’ energy consumption and typically consumes the most energy within a building.

In the Philippines, according to the Philippine Green Building Code, air-conditioning typically accounts for more than 50% of total electricity costs in a centrally air-conditioned building. The high figure is likely due to Philippines’ tropical and hot climate, which leads to an increased need in space cooling. 

In an “Energy Savings Potential and RD&D Opportunities for Commercial Building HVAC Systems” report done by the US Department of Energy, it was determined that fans make up for 29% of HVAC energy use. Fans often operate continuously while the building is occupied and can have widely varying levels of efficiency, ranging from 40% to 80%. Due to their extended operating hours and potential for energy savings, retrofitting fans for improved efficiency is often a good option to improve the overall energy efficiency of a building.

How to improve the energy efficiency of your HVAC system?

Applications such as air handling units (AHUs)condenserscooling towersfan coil units and others work in unison to keep a building cooled or ventilated. One other similarity is that all of them contain fans that help to move the air within the building. For older buildings in the Philippines, many of these fans are driven by Alternating Current (AC) motors, which was the conventional choice. One of the quickest ways to reduce the energy consumption of these applications is to retrofit the AC fans with newer technology, such as Electronically Commutated (EC) fans. 

EC fans are far more efficient due to a wide variety of reasons. For example, in previous AC fan to EC fan AHU retrofits done in the Southeast Asia region, we have achieved 25% to 50% in energy savings. This figure can be even higher depending on the previous efficiency of the AC fan system. 

Why should building owners in the Philippines choose ebm‑papst fans? 

As one of the early adopters of EC technology, ebm‑papst has been consistently working to enhance the efficiency of each new generation of fans through significant investments in research and development. In the recent years, we have invested a significant amount of €140.9 million in R&D (in 2021/2022 alone). Our EC fans are designed with various other factors in mind, such as reducing noise for greater comfort, implementing a plug-and-play system for easy installation, and featuring compact designs that allow for easy replacement of larger AC units.

In Southeast Asia, ebm‑papst SEA’s regional headquarters and warehouse is located in Singapore, enabling shorter lead times to countries in the region. In addition, we have a team in the Philippines that can support you if any issue arises. Since 2018, the ebm‑papst team in the Philippines have completed various retrofit projects and have accumulated valuable experience.

Case Study  - 1

Article by

Marketing Department of ebm‑papst SEA Pte Ltd


[1] González-Torres, M., Pérez-Lombard, L., Coronel, J. M., Maestre, I. R., & Yan, D. (2022). A review on buildings energy information: Trends, end-uses, fuels and drivers. Energy Reports8, 626–637. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.egyr.2021.11.280

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