In 1997, the government initiated a program to reduce national energy use by 10% compared to 1993 levels. The program included energy-saving guidelines, audits, training of building managers, and demonstration of new technologies. Initial funding levels, however, were low, leading to an emphasis on introducing third party financing from Energy Services Companies (ESCOs). The final report of a cooperative project between the Philippines and the State of Hawaii, funded by USAID, recommended that:
...[T]he Philippines government should institute an energy efficiency procurement policy, establish a program like the US Federal Energy Management Program, and implement joint venture model procurement contracting projects within the private sector."
In December 2000, the Philippine Department of Energy (DOE) officially launched its national energy-saving program, Enercon, which restated the requirement for all government agencies to reduce their electricity and fuel consumption by at least 10%. Agencies are encouraged to achieve this energy conservation goal through more efficient use of existing equipment and by purchasing more efficient equipment (e.g., for room air conditioners, a minimum 9.1 EER for units below 12,000 kJ/hr and 8.6 EER for larger units). To reduce fuel consumption, there are tips for preventive maintenance of vehicles, low-fuel driving habits, and a spreadsheet for tracking monthly fuel use. A savings of roughly P550 million is expected in 2002 (from a baseline government energy bill of P2.8 billion for electricity and P2.7 billion for fuel.) In April 2002, the Philippine DOE was awaiting signature of an Executive Order directing the institutionalization of a Government Energy Management Program (GEMP).