Government to launch energy efficiency standards, labels for appliances
Fresh policy changes may be in the offing soon to upscale the penetration of energy saving appliances used in residential and public sectors through the introduction of standards and labels in the country.
The new initiative is being implemented by the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN), the Federal Ministry of Environment and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with other stakeholders proposing the “Energy Efficiency Label” for Nigeria under the Global Environment Facility (GEF) project – Promoting Energy Efficiency in Residential and Public Sector.
One of the outcomes of the project was the establishment of energy efficiency standards – Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) and labels for electrical appliances and equipment, notably lighting, air conditioners and refrigerators in Nigeria.
To support the enforcement of the standards and labels, Energy Efficiency Testing Laboratory was established by the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) and the National Centre for Energy Efficiency and Conservation (NCEEC) funded by the Energy Commission of Nigeria, but located in the University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos.
MEPS is a specification, containing a number of performance requirements for an energy-consuming appliance that effectively limits the maximum amount of energy that may be consumed by an appliance in performing a specified task. Before now, standards were viewed from the angle of quality of system components and not on the amount of energy they consume vis-à-vis the services they rendered.
The Guardian learnt that communicating this standard to the end-users/consumers requires informative labels called energy labels that are placed on manufactured products to convey to the public or end-users, the product’s energy performance in terms of the amount of energy use and the cost implications over a given period.
Senior officials of ECN disclosed that energy labels create consumer’s awareness and assist the consumer to buy more efficient appliances. “Standards and Labels not only ensure informed decision making by consumers but also helps to change mind-set towards consideration of long-term energy costs that will indirectly result in market transformation through purchase of electrical appliances based on the energy performance, higher demand for more efficient models and reduction in the marketability of low efficiency models.
“It is believed that the implementation of the standards and the associated labels for electrical appliances introduced by the UNDP-ECN-GEF project will help to eliminate informational barriers that prevent consumers from taking energy efficiency into consideration when buying an appliance.”
UNDP-ECN Project Officer, Okon Ekpenyong, an engineer, told The Guardian that the recommended energy labels and standards are before the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) for presentation to the Nigerian Standards Council for final approval before its enforcement.
“Having energy label on energy consuming appliances will assist Nigerians who want to buy any appliance to know whether the product will consume too much energy (energy-inefficient appliances) leading to high electricity bills or will consume less energy (energy efficient appliances).
“Efficient appliances consume less energy while still performing the same services leading to lower electricity bills. Generally, every consumer wants to save money and will go for energy-efficient appliances,” Ekpenyong said.
While supporting processes and programmes that will upscale the penetration of energy saving equipment, the project is creating awareness to change behaviour and to build stakeholder capacity to imbibe energy efficiency best practices for national development.