By ANTHONY IAN CRUZ
February 7, 2008
THE Asian Development Bank is considering a $30 million loan to help fund a range of programs for energy efficiency, citing the Philippines as the first Asian country to phase out incandescent bulbs in favor of the more energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) which help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and household energy costs.
President Arroyo announced the country’s plan to phase out incandescent bulbs by January 2010 in a speech at the close of the Energy Summit in Pasay City.
The ADB acted as technical advisor to the Energy Summit, assisting the Department of Energy in developing plans to address climate change and reduce energy consumption.
The ADB said part of the planned loan could be used to provide low-income families with CFLs and to finance pilot programs on energy efficiency that could be continued as long-term development projects.
In pitching for CFLs, the ADB said these may be more expensive to buy than incandescent bulbs but they pay for themselves in lower power bills within a year since they use only 20 percent of the electricity used by incandescent bulbs to produce the same amount of light. They also last six to 10 times longer.
“The switch to CFLs will result in household lighting costs falling by as much as 80 percent, and the country’s annual greenhouse gas emissions falling by 2 million metric tons starting in 2010,” the ADB said.
If most Filipinos make the switch, the ADB said, “national electricity demand is expected to fall by 2,000 megawatts, or the equivalent of electricity generated by six power plants.”